Russia accounted for nearly 23 percent of the value of natural gas imports into the European Union (EU) from non-EU countries in the second quarter of 2022. The share was lower than in the whole year 2021 when it stood at almost 40 percent. The decrease was due to the Western sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and the reduction of gas supplies by Gazprom to Europe.
Which EU countries import gas from Russia?
In 2022, the EU imported 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas via pipelines from Russia, compared to 140 billion cubic meters in the previous year. Germany was by far the largest importer of natural gas from Russia, accounting for around 40 percent of the EU imports in 2021. Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries such as Poland, Czechia, and Hungary also ranked in the top 10 given their high dependence on Russian gas. After the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022, Turkey and China emerged as some of the largest buyers of Russian pipeline gas.
The future of natural gas in a climate-neutral Europe
Gas continues to be the second most important primary energy source in the EU, after petroleum-based products. However, to stay within the Paris Agreement’s target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, the EU is actively looking for ways to accelerate the transition to more renewable sources of energy, including the adoption of the 2021 European Green Deal and the Commission’s "Fit for 55" proposal and RePowerEU plan. Under these sustainable scenarios, the European gas demand is estimated to fall from 617 billion cubic meters in 2018 to 380 billion cubic meters in 2040.