Borrell, the EU’s foreign affairs coordinator, said the EU has bought 35 billion euros worth of gas, oil and coal from Russia since the start of the war in Ukraine. Earlier this week† Although Europe is trying to quickly reduce its dependence on Russian gas, there is little support so far for a boycott of Russian gas.
Countries such as Germany and Italy rely heavily on Russian gas, and opponents say the boycott will do more harm to Europe than Russia. With Russia’s exclusion from international payments, the freezing of foreign assets, the confiscation of real estate and luxury yachts, and the boycott of Russian coal and ships, the list of potential restrictions is dwindling. Boycotting the oil may be the next step, but then boycotting gas is the next and somewhat last action.
About 15 percent of the gas in the Netherlands comes from Russia. If the import of Russian gas is completely stopped, the Netherlands will also have to cooperate in resolving the shortage in the rest of Europe, as in Germany. This can be done, for example, by opening the gas tap in Groningen further. Shutting down or reducing large-scale gas consumers in the chemical and fertilizer industry and other energy-intensive businesses is also an option.
The government has already called on citizens to use energy more efficiently. There will be no shortage of gas in the summer, but it will be difficult to fill the storage places for the coming winter.
For households, a boycott of Russian gas will mean energy bills will rise even more without further action. The government has already spent billions of dollars on compensation through reduced energy tax, additional support for low-income people, and lower production fees on gasoline and diesel.
However, not all additional price increases will be compensated. Thus, boycotting Russian gas will lead to higher costs for citizens.
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