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Sweden Wants EU to Sanction Russia’s Shadow Fleet and Ban Its LNG

The next round of EU sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine should include measures to address the shadow fleet of tankers helping Russia move its oil and a ban on EU imports of Russian LNG, Sweden’s foreign minister said on Monday.  

“Adopting the 14th sanctions package is one of the most important things,” Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said arriving at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg, as carried by Reuters.

“We will see to it that we both include an import ban on liquefied natural gas as well as measures to curb the Russian shadow fleet,” the Swedish minister added.

The EU has just started discussions on the 14th package of sanctions and it is not expected to adopt the measure anytime soon.

EU member states are divided on a ban on LNG imports. Sweden and the Baltic countries press for a ban, but other member states and the EU energy regulator say Europe is now much more dependent on LNG to afford an immediate ban on imports of LNG from Russia.

The European Union should be careful in its efforts to ditch Russian LNG as it should protect its security of gas supply, the European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, ACER, said in a report last week.

As the EU aims to completely end its reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2027, “the reduction of Russian LNG imports should be considered in gradual steps starting with spot Russian LNG imports,” ACER said in its report.

“While such measures may target to reduce dependence on Russian gas, it’s important to note that substantial volumes have already been contracted under long-term LNG agreements before the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” the EU regulator said.

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“Hence, reductions in Russian LNG imports should be approached with caution, particularly in light of the imminent expiration of the ship-or-pay transit contract for gas pipeline supply from Russia to Europe via Ukraine by the end of 2024.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • George Doolittle on April 22 2024 said:
    How about Algerian natural gas imports? Do those need to be banned as well?
  • Mamdouh Salameh on April 22 2024 said:
    After years of neutrality dating back to WWII, Sweden has since joining NATO become more royal than the royals themselves meaning that it is becoming more outspoke against Russia than NATO itself as evidenced by wanting the EU to sanction Russia’s Shadow Fleet and ban Its LNG exports and by masking the evidence and the identity of the culprit behind the sabotage of Russia's Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines and refusing to let Russia share its investigations into the sabotage.

    Western unprecedented sanctions against Russia have failed miserably as they did against both Iran and Venezuela so adding new sanctions won't fare better.

    The irony, however, is that Russia's economy is in a far better shape than the economies of those who imposed the sanctions against it meaning the United States and the EU with Russia's economy projected by the IMF to grow in 2024 at 3.2% compared with 2.0-2.5% for the United States' and an anaemic 0.8% for the EU.

    Dr Mamdouh G Sa;ameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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