Question: A recent publication by the Financial Times suggests that, at the G7 summit to be held in Hiroshima this week, the G7 and EU will ban Russian gas imports on routes where Moscow has cut supplies. Could you, please, comment on that?
Answer: The Financial Times article does not refer to a total ban on gas supplies from Russia to the EU, but to preventing the resumption of Russian [pipeline] gas exports which are already suspended - i.e. de facto fixing the status quo. This appears to be a purely political rather than economic measure, which cannot affect the current volume of Russian supplies, let alone inflict the damage on our economy predicted by the West. Such initiatives are largely designed to ostensibly raise the profile of the new sanctions "package" and to demonstrate that there is still room for pressure on Russia. Our congratulations to the leadership of the European Union: they are one step closer to making their pipe dream come true – overcoming the “energy addiction”, an EU fictitious concept, which in reality was not a dependence but a guarantee of European welfare.
Whatever the effect of the sanctions, Russia and most of the world will always regard the unilateral trade restrictions imposed by the G7 and the EU as a gross violation of international law and WTO norms, which undermines the market-based functioning of the global economy.