EU to End Long-Term Gas Deals to Lessen Import Dependence

The European Union is planning to end long-term contracts for natural gas imports in an effort to lessen the bloc’s dependence on imports amid surging gas prices.

The European Commission, EU’s executive arm, seeks to prevent gas import deals from being extended beyond 2049 as part of its energy market overhaul, according to documents seen by Bloomberg.

The plan is expected to be published on Wednesday, a day before EU diplomats are set to discuss related measures at a summit in Brussels.

Besides being a step away from non-renewable energy, ending the contracts soon will allow the region to lessen its dependence on gas imports. This comes as European stockpiles continue to drop to record lows.

The proposal runs counter to Russia — a major gas supplier of the region — which has been arguing for more long-term contracts. Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the EU in October for its own energy crisis, calling the move to reduce natural gas trade with Moscow a “mistake”.

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