G7, EU planning to ban potential resumption Of Russian gas flows to Europe


G7 countries and the European Union intend to ban resumption of Russian gas exports to Europe previously halted by Moscow during the G7 leaders summit in Hiroshima from May 19-21, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing sources.

The draft G7 document seen by the newspaper indicates that Western leading countries are committed to further strengthening their pressure on Russia’s economy, “including preventing the reopening of avenues previously shut down by Russia’s weaponisation of energy,” at least until “there is a resolution of the conflict.”

This decision, if agreed upon, will prevent the relaunch of Russian gas pipeline supplies to Poland and Germany, according to the report. With this measure the Western countries want to reduce Russia’s energy profits.

The step is designed “to make sure that partners don’t change their mind in a hypothetical future,” one of sources told the newspaper.

The initiative has a great symbolic meaning, as European countries will introduce restrictions on Russian pipeline gas for the first time since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, according to the report.

However, the ban will not affect any current supplies in the near future, the Financial Times added.

Besides, EU members mull expanding oil embargo, as they want to reduce their use of all Russia’s energy, according to the report. Now, European diplomats are in talks over possible suspension of oil supplies through the Druzhba pipeline, the newspaper said, adding that the European Commission declined to comment on its internal discussions.

However, one EU official told the Financial Times that it is important for the bloc to understand how to organize the flow of Kazakh oil through Druzhba.

“It has to be clear exactly how it would work,” they said.

On Friday, Bloomberg reported the EU had proposed at the official level to stop Russian oil exports via the Druzhba pipeline to Germany and Poland. At the same time, according to the report, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will be exempted from the ban. The proposal will be discussed as part of a new EU sanctions package against Russia.

The Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, built to deliver gas under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, were hit by explosions in September 2022. Nord Stream’s operator, Nord Stream AG, said that the damage was unprecedented and it was impossible to estimate the time repairs might take.