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TotalEnergies to continue shipping Russian LNG as long as no EU sanctions -CEO

LONDON (Reuters) - French energy giant TotalEnergies will continue to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia as long as there are no European sanctions on the fuel, the company's Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said on Wednesday, reiterating a previously stated position.

"We will continue to ship LNG from Russia as long as there is no sanctions, or push, from Europe on the gas, because we contribute to the security of supply for Europe. If there are sanctions we will stop immediately." Pouyanne told the Energy Intelligence Forum in London.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Europe in particular has become a prime market for the seaborne fuel, where massive amounts are being bought to help replace Russian pipeline gas that used to make up almost 40% of the continent's imports.

Pouyanne stressed that the energy giant is not investing in new projects in Russia.

TotalEnergies has a contract with Russia's Yamal LNG for 4 million tonnes per annum that runs until 2032.

France imported 5 billion cubic meters of Russian LNG in the first eight months of 2022, surpassing Japan to become the largest importer of Russian LNG in February and March, a recent report by Columbia University's Center for Global Energy Policy said.

Pouyanne said the best way for Europe to secure gas supply is to do it like Japan, namely "commit to long term contracts with big volumes".

He added that his company will remain committed to long-term contracts.

(Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by David Evans, KIrsten Donovan)