Europe receives more than 40% of its gas supply from Russia.
The European Union has reportedly ended its 2018 antitrust investigation into QatarEnergy’s contracts, as Russia-Ukraine tensions threaten energy supply.
The Financial Times reported that the EU has been considering the decision last year.
The European Commission had launched an investigation into QatarEnergy companies and the impact on “the free flow of gas” within the European Economic Area (EEA). In turn, Qatar stopped its projects in France and Belgium.
The Gulf state also paused its European investments and LNG supplies. Whilst EU’s decision over the case comes at a critical time for energy security, officials insist that move is unrelated to recent geopolitical tensions.
It still remains unclear whether the investigation is ongoing, as an official told Reuters on Friday.
Last year, Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi said that Europe needed to “give a clear signal” about whether “they want more investment in gas and additional supply” from Doha.
Europe receives more than 40% of its gas supply from Russia and almost a third of its shipments pass through Ukraine.
With tensions soaring between the two rivals, US Joe Biden had turned to his allies to provide Europe with gas supply, including Qatar.
Qatar’s energy minister said in January that the Gulf state is unable to unilaterally replace Europe’s energy supply. The Gulf state provides up to 5% of Europe’s LNG supply, as most of its shipments go to Asian countries through long-term contracts.
Last year, Russia was seen dispatching its troops on its border with Ukraine, which raised concerns over a possible invasion. Moscow has since denied plans to invade Kyiv.
On Friday the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told a press briefing that “an invasion could begin at any time”. The US State Department ordered its staff to depart Kyiv.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said warnings over an invasion “provoked panic” in the country. “If you or anyone has any additional information about a 100% chance of an invasion, give it to us.”
Biden warned Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Saturday that the US would respond “decisively and impose swift and severe costs”. This came in an hour-long phone call, initially scheduled for Monday.
On Sunday, Ukraine’s envoy to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko,said that Kyiv could withdraw its bid to join NATO.
Putin said adding Ukraine to the alliance would enable the launch of missiles at Russia.