Spain urged to lead EU with total ban on Russian LNG ahead of 14th sanctions package
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The B4Ukraine Coalition member Razom We Stand along with partners has sent an urgent letter to the Spanish government calling for decisive action to halt funding to Putin’s war chest by advocating for a complete ban on Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports in the upcoming 14th EU sanction package against Russia.

In a letter addressed to the Spanish government, Razom We Stand emphasises the critical role of Russian LNG imports in sustaining the aggressor’s economy and supporting its hostile actions in Ukraine. It urges Spain to take a leading stance in advocating for stringent measures, including bans on transshipment and importation through third-party countries.

Yevheniia Zasiadko, Campaign Manager, Razom We Stand, said, “In the face of Putin’s relentless assault on Ukraine, Spain and the EU must take decisive action to cut off the financial lifeline fueling Russia’s war chest. Every Spanish euro spent on Russian LNG imports is a contribution to Putin’s campaign of violence and devastation. Spain and the EU must stand firm and prioritise protecting human lives over profit margins, demonstrating unwavering solidarity with Ukraine in this critical moment of need. Spain has a unique opportunity to make a significant impact by supporting a comprehensive ban on Russian LNG imports. This strong step would send a powerful message to the Russian government that its aggression will not be tolerated.”

Irina Pavlova, Spokesperson, B4Ukraine, emphasized, “The only way to stop Russia’s continued and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine is to defund its war effort by closing the existing sanctions loopholes. The free flow of Russian LNG to the EU through Spanish ports is one of them. If the collective West is serious about defunding Russia’s war in 2024, the time for action is now. A full ban on Russian LNG is a good starting point.”

Russian attacks on Ukraine have caused considerable damage to vital infrastructure, including the energy infrastructure, 50% of which has been destroyed, which will put Ukrainians struggling to survive at severe risk next winter.

Recent data from the IEEFA highlights Spain’s increasing significance as a crucial entry hub for Russian gas into Europe. LNG shipments constitute a significant portion of Spain’s total gas imports, with the Bilbao terminal ranking among the top 3 highest receivers of Russia’s Yamal LNG in the EU in 2023.

Spain is the top importer of Russian LNG among EU countries, with imports totaling 5.21 billion cubic meters (bcm) from January to September 2023. Spain increased its imports of Russian LNG by 50% compared to the same period in 2022.

Spain has a unique opportunity to lead by example and advocate for sustainable energy practices. Last year Spain electricity production from renewable sources reached nearly 135,000 GWh last year, equivalent to 50.8% of the overall national energy mix. The recent approval by the EU Parliament allowing national bans on Russian LNG imports provides a favourable regulatory framework for Spain to leverage in pushing for stricter measures against Russian energy imports and leaves no room for excuses.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez recently said Spain will continue to “firmly support” Ukraine. We strongly urge him to back up these words with actions, and we believe that Spain’s leadership in supporting these measures will not only contribute to enhancing European energy security but also send a clear signal of solidarity with Ukraine and a commitment to upholding international norms and values.

Razom We Stand calls on Spain to announce full support for a ban on Russian LNG imports, collaborate with European partners to diversify energy sources, and address legal and contractual barriers to energy diversification. The organisation emphasises the importance of Spain’s commitment to upholding international norms and values in the face of Russian aggression.

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