Saving Energy in a Hurry: Reducing Dependence on Russian Hydrocarbons Requires Resolute Demand and Supply Sides Action Briefings de l'Ifri, March 17, 2022
Facing Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, European countries have enacted economic and financial sanctions against Russia.
• However, heavily dependent on Russian gas, European countries fear possible countersanctions.
• On the other hand, Russia is heavily dependent, first and foremost, on oil exports, but also, yet to a lesser extent, on gas exports to Europe. Oil and gas represent more than half its total export revenues.
• European countries should distinguish two policy needs: reducing their dependence on Russian gas to mitigate the impacts of possible countersanctions; reducing the demand for Russian oil to increase the economic pressure on Russia.
• Reducing demand for Russian oil can be much easier for European countries to endure and can be done immediately with an active involvement of the civil society, from companies to citizens. It would ease the cost impacts on European citizens and give them ways to express their solidarity with Ukraine.