The clock is ticking for the European Union.
The bloc is rushing to slash its deeply entrenched and highly costly dependency on Russian fossil fuels, the Kremlin’s most lucrative exports and main financial lifeline behind the invasion of Ukraine.
But while Russian coal and oil have proven to be relatively easy to sanction and phase out, gas is a completely different story.
Last year, the EU bought over 155 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Russian gas, imported mainly through the extensive pipeline network that interconnects Eastern Europe.
In an attempt to put an end to these large imports, the EU has set its sights on liquefied natural gas (LNG), which offers more flexibility and greater diversity of producers. But global demand for LNG has outpaced supply, driving up prices and fostering tough competition between rich countries.
Back in March, the EU signed a deal with the United States to bring an extra 15 bcm of LNG by the end of the year. Then, in early June, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen travelled to the Middle East and announced a trilateral memorandum to boost LNG supplies with Egypt and Israel.
These deals, however, are non-binding, meaning that if suppliers are unable to meet the promised objectives, the EU has no legal avenue to remedy the situation. Brussels is now stepping up its international engagement to secure new partnerships and commitments.
Meanwhile, Gazprom continues to cut or reduce gas flows to an increasing number of member states, raising the spectre of gas rationing.
Watch the video above to discover the countries willing to fill the gap left by Russian gas.