Lord Cameron said Russia was trying to destroy the energy system - Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

Lord Cameron said Russia was trying to destroy the energy system - Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

The Telegraph:  David Cameron called for Europe to halt all imports of Russian gas on Tuesday in a veiled jab at France, Belgium and Spain.

The Foreign Secretary said the West had to be as “equally tough and precise” in targeting Vladimir Putin’s revenue streams as Russians were being with strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

“We know what Russia has tried to do. They are trying to destroy the energy system, they’re trying to take coking coal that is crucial for Ukraine’s iron and steel industry and they’re trying to destroy the gas storages in Ukraine,” Lord Cameron told a donor conference for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

“They’re going with toughness and precision after Ukraine’s key assets, and we have to ask ourselves are we being equally tough and precise ourselves?

“We have rightly switched off a lot of Russian oil, but it’s time to make sure we totally switch off Russian gas into Europe as well.”

In 2023 The Telegraph revealed that European Union countries had quietly channelled more than €6.1 billion (£5.4 billion) into Russia’s coffers through the purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over 11 months.

Radoslaw Sikorski, Lord Cameron and Antonio Tajani

Lord Cameron attends a discussion at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin with his counterparts Radoslaw Sikorski, from Poland, left, and Antonio Tajani of Italy - Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

The bloc was responsible for importing up to half of Moscow’s LNG with Spain and France being the second and third largest buyers behind China.

Brussels has pledged to end its use of Russian fossil fuels by 2027, and has introduced sanctions against imports of oil and coal.

But it has been unable to agree on a plan to introduce punitive measures against gas exports from Moscow because of member state opposition.

The European Commission has drawn up plans to ban EU ports from reselling Russian LNG as part of a 14th package of sanctions.

The move would come as a serious blow to Russia because European ports act as a convenient layover. Without them, Moscow would have to use icebreaker vessels to cut new shipping routes through the Arctic ice to get to Asia.

Lord Cameron also confirmed that Britain would hand Ukraine at least £3 billion in military support “next year and every year in the future for as long as it takes until Putin is defeated”.

Rebuild after the war

He said Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, would set out plans for the UK’s next donation to rebuild Ukraine after the war at a meeting of G7 leaders at the weekend.

And in a warning to allies not willing to follow suit, he added: We’re here with a lot of numbers being thrown about... I just tell you this one thing, the numbers we are talking about compared to the number we would have to invest if Ukraine isn’t successful.

“What you spend now we will save later and will see a successful Ukraine as a result.”

Ukraine used the two-day conference in Berlin to plead for more air defence systems to defend against Russians attacks that are crippling the country’s energy sector.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukraine president, said Russia had destroyed or captured more than half of Ukraine’s power generation.

“Once Russia’s ability to terrorise its neighbours is limited, Russia will finally be forced to seek a path to real peace,”he said.

“It’s because this is Putin’s key advantage – missile strikes, guided aerial bombs, attack drones. Together we must ensure the blackout of Russian terror in order to bring out of the blackout the possibility of real peace.”

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