Europe’s dependence on Russian gas was no secret, but the continent’s strategic vulnerability has been vividly exposed by the devastating conflict in Ukraine. The West’s capacity to respond to Russian aggression with effective sanctions is severely compromised by its addiction to piped Russian gas. There is no quick way for Europe to wean itself off this habit, although high prices have opened up an arbitrage to draw LNG volumes away from other markets: most efforts are aimed at a medium-term timeframe.

On 25 March, US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen “announced a joint Task Force to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and strengthen European energy security as President Putin wages his war of choice against Ukraine.” According to the IEA, “the European Union imported 155bcm of natural gas from Russia [in 2021], accounting for around 45% of EU gas imports and close to 40% of its total gas consumption.” (CONTINUED - 985 WORDS)