(Bloomberg) -- Spain’s imports of Russian liquefied natural gas have soared 84% since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, highlighting how dependent Europe remains on Moscow despite efforts to slash energy ties.

The European country has been forced to boost LNG purchases from elsewhere after shipments from longstanding gas supplier Algeria declined following a diplomatic feud between the two nations. While Russia has cut sales through pipelines to Europe to a bare minimum, LNG flows surged more than 30% last year. 

The country’s reliance on Russian LNG is likely to attract the attention of EU politicians, some of whom have been calling for Moscow’s revenue to be cut following its invasion of Ukraine. The bloc’s energy chief Kadri Simson last week urged these shipments be stopped, saying European companies should not renew long-term contracts once current ones end. She didn’t announce any specific measures.

Spain is the EU’s top buyer of Russian LNG so far this year, followed by Belgium and France, ship-tracking data on Bloomberg show. It is also the bloc’s biggest spender — €944 million ($1 billion) — on oil and gas combined from Moscow, according to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

Spain only receives Russian gas as LNG, as its utility Naturgy Energy Group SA holds a 20-year contract to purchase the fuel from Yamal LNG in the Arctic until 2038. Imports between March 2022 and February this year rose to 61,344 gigawatt-hours, compared with 33,305 gigawatt-hours in the same period a year earlier, according to data from grid operator Enagas SA. Purchases of the fuel from the US grew 48% in the period.

Russian LNG accounted for 14% of Spain’s total supply in the period, a 6.2 percentage point increase. LNG from Russia made up about 16% of total imports of the fuel into western Europe last month, with the US delivering nearly a half.

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