15.05.24 / / Campaign Updates

Open Letter: Urgent Call for Support from France on Full Ban on Russian LNG in 14th Sanction Package

Read letter in French

Dear President Macron,

We write to you with great urgency regarding ongoing discussions of a 14th package of economic sanctions against Russia, its war in Ukraine, and the role that Russian LNG imports play in supporting the aggressor's economy and filling its war chest. As concerned citizens, activists, and stakeholders in global security, we urge France to take a leadership role in advocating for a total ban on Russian LNG imports, including transshipment and import bans, in the upcoming 14th sanction package against Russia.

We applaud the recent efforts of various European nations, including Germany, Italy, and others, to support imposing full and transparent sanctions on Russian LNG. However, more must be done, and France has a crucial role in leading these efforts.

The recent escalation of war in Ukraine following Russia's full-scale invasion has underscored the critical need to sever economic ties that support Russian aggression. Russian LNG imports are a significant source of revenue for the Russian government, enabling it to finance its war and escalate its brutality. Russian attacks on Ukraine have caused considerable damage to vital infrastructure, including the energy infrastructure, 50% of which has been destroyed. This will put Ukrainian civilians struggling to survive at severe risk next winter.

Recent data from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) highlights France's rapid growth in Russian LNG imports, with payments totalling 600 million euros in the first three months of 2024 alone. France has emerged as the fastest-growing consumer of Russian LNG in the EU, surpassing all other EU countries in LNG imports from Russia during this period. France led in both the volume and growth of Russian LNG imports in 2024, with a total of 1.5 million tonnes. Significant imports underscore the need for immediate action to curb reliance on Russian energy resources.

France is undermining any attempts to help to Ukraine by maintaining cooperation with Russia and compensating them for LNG. By withholding funding from Russia, France would significantly contribute to Ukraine's ability to defend itself against Russian aggression. Moreover, continued financial support to Russia not only prolongs the war but also poses long-term economic and security risks for Europe.

It is worth noting that in 2023, major gas consumers, including Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic, successfully reduced their dependence on Russian pipeline gas and Russian gas in general, setting a precedent for European energy independence.

The EU Parliament has approved rules allowing national bans on Russian LNG imports but failed to address transshipments. We urge France to leverage this regulatory framework to advocate for comprehensive measures that address both direct imports and transshipment routes. This includes advocating for stricter enforcement mechanisms and penalties for entities involved in circumventing import bans through transshipments. If EU countries do not ban of LNG imports from Russia then businesses will continue to buy more Russian LNG. From January until the end of April 2024, the EU has increased its Russian LNG imports by 18% in volume terms compared to the same 4 month period the prior year.

As a prominent member of the European Union and a key player in global energy markets, France has a unique opportunity to make a significant impact to bring peace in Ukraine closer. We urge France to stop funding war and to support a comprehensive ban on Russian LNG, including transshipment and import activities. This decisive step would send a powerful message to the Russian government that its aggression will not be tolerated and would demonstrate France's commitment to upholding international norms and values.

Therefore, we call on France to:

  • Announce full support for a ban on Russian LNG imports in the 14th sanction package against Russia, including measures to prohibit transshipment and importation through third-party countries.
  • Collaborate with European partners to develop strategies for reducing reliance on Russian energy resources, including investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
  • Ensure in future policy decisions that economic ties supporting Russia must be brought to a close, and that no resources inadvertently support Russia's hostile actions.

Thank you for your commitment to upholding international norms and values.


  1. Razom We Stand
  2. Stand with Ukraine France
  3. B4Ukraine
  4. Les Amis de la Terre France
  5. Greenpeace France
  6. Bond Beter Leefmilieu: Leef
  7. Urgewald
  8. WECF France et WECF International
  9. Global Witness
  10. International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)
  11. Réseau Action Climat