World's leading industrial powers, the Group of Seven (G7) and the European Union (EU) mull banning Russian gas imports via the pipelines Moscow had cut supply, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing a news report published by Financial Times on Sunday, May 14.
According to officials involved in the negotiations cited by the Financial Times, the decision, which is aimed at punishing Russia for supply chain disruptions and reducing the EU's reliance on Russian gas, will be finalized by the G7 leaders at a summit which will kick off on Friday in Hiroshima, Japan.
When adopted by the G7, the new decision will prevent the resumption of Russia's gas supply to countries such as Poland and Germany, where Moscow had cut off gas supplies last year.
The halt in gas supplies to some of the European Union member states resulted from the simmering tensions that spread across Europe following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February of 2022 and a raft of sanctions imposed on Russia by the West in response.
According to earlier reports, Gazprom cut off gas supplies to Denmark's Orsted and Shell Energy at the beginning of June 2022 for failing to pay for Russian gas in roubles to help sustain Russia's economy in the aftermath of sanctions imposed by the West.
Russia's state-owned gas supplier, Gazprom, also turned off its natural gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria over claims of non-payment for the supplies in roubles, as had been announced by the Kremlin. Further gas supply cuts worsened the already skyrocketing gas demand in European markets as winter closed in.
By June 22, Russia had cut gas suppliers to what President Putin termed "non-friendly" European countries, reducing the overall gas export volume through Nord Stream 1 to 40% of the pre-war supply capacity, BBC noted.
The sudden reduction in Russia's gas supply to Europe shrunk European gas imports from Moscow by half—from 40 percent before Russia invaded Ukraine to 20 percent after the invasion, BBC report showed.
Russia's gas supply cut sent rumblings about Moscow cutting off its entire natural gas supply to Europe, sending European leaders searching for alternative sources to plug the gap, with natural gas supply from Norway and LNG from other countries coming in handy.