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Deep European Dependence on Russian Natural Gas: Reckless Policy or Reasonable Strategy?

The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has forced a reckoning in Europe over its deep energy links to Russia. In 2021, by trade values, 30% of total European Union (EU) energy imports were from Russia, including 39% of the natural gas imported as well as 25% and 45% of oil and coal imports, respectively. By volumes of natural gas imported, in 2021, the EU depended on Russia for a staggering 45%. Meanwhile, EU member states only produced an amount equal to 12% of total consumption meaning that the vast majority of consumption was imported. The dependency on Russian natural gas varies greatly within the EU. Generally, the closer a member state is to the EU’s easternmost borders, the greater the reliance.

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