In the confrontation that is being played out on the diplomatic front between Russia and Western countries, Moscow has a major asset that serves as a means of pressure: the country of Vladimir Putin really ranks second in the world in gas and oil production * (PDF in English)and a leading supplier of hydrocarbons to the European Union*. In response to the invasion of Ukraine, the EU has already imposed significant sanctions, such as freezing the assets of 877 people associated with the Russian regime* or excluding several banks from the Swift network. But some countries, such as the US, go even further with hydrocarbon embargoes.
There are voices like that of former President François Hollande urging Europe to do the same. But is it possible for 27 Member States? Who is most dependent on Russian gas and oil? Answer in infographics.
Almost half of the gas imported into the EU comes from Russia
At the level of the European Union, this 44% imported gas from Russia*. This makes it the leading supplier in the EU, well ahead of Norway and Algeria. But this very high overall figure masks significant differences across countries.
In Western Europe, Russian gas is less 12% import to Portugal, Spain, Ireland or Belgium. This proportion is somewhat higher in France, but remains limited 17% (Norway first supplier gas for France). On the other hand, most countries east of the Rhine import more half of its gas from Russia. Moscow thus providing 55% gas to Poland 66% to Germany and almost one hundred% to Finland or Hungary.
“This difference is mainly due to the geographical proximity to Russia and the presence of gas pipelines that allow supplying these countries in Eastern Europe” Explain in information about France Phuc Vinh Nguyenspecialist in European energy policy at the Jacques Institute Delores. And it is difficult for these countries to drastically change their supplies. “Transportation of gas requires infrastructure, so it is difficult to change suppliers quickly. he adds. If there are reserves and that it is possible even for Germany, deprive yourself of Russian gas, “it will definitely take effort to consume less, and, above all, it is necessary to allow the transport of gas from new countries and develop other sources of energy to cope with the next winters.
Russia supplies a quarter of oil to the European Union
Russia is also a leading supplier of oil and petroleum products to European Union, producing just over 25% European import*. The rest is shipped from USA, Kazakhstan or Nigeria. As with gas, there is a notable difference between Eastern and Western Europe: Slovakia, Bulgaria and Poland transport respectively 78%, 76% as well as 68% its oil from Russia. In Germany this thirty% Moscow oil. This figure drops to 13% in France and Italy and below 6% in Spain and Portugal.
Oil supplies to the European Union, which are more diversified than gas supplies, could be changed more quickly, as explained Phuc Vinh Nguyenbut then again, this would not be without consequences: “Oil is easily transported by sea, and almost all countries with access to the sea have the equipment to receive these tankers. But to deprive yourself of Russian oil will continue to have implications for gasoline prices, which it is very likely that they will reach record heights.”
The Russian regime is very dependent on its exports to Europe
Thus, if Europe is very dependent on hydrocarbons supplied from Russia, then the opposite is true for the money received from these sales to Moscow. IN 2021 hydrocarbons alone accounted for more than a third of the revenues of the Russian federal state.
And it is Europe that buys most of its gas from Russia. “According to Gazprom and British Petroleum, almost 75% of Russian gas exports will go to Europe. The European Union sends about 750 million euros a day to Russia for supplies hydrocarbons, Phuc Vinh says Nguyen. Russia does not have the funds to resell all this gas to other countries. So an embargo would be hard for Europe, but even harder for Russia.”, he concludes.
* All of these links refer to articles and materials in English.