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The European Union (EU) has issued revised guidelines to member states that allows companies to continue buying Russian gas without breaching EU sanctions, reported Bloomberg News, citing a spokesperson.

The companies will be allowed to purchase Russian gas in accordance with EU sanctions, which have been imposed on Moscow in the wake of its military action against Ukraine.

Earlier this month, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced a total embargo on oil imports from Russia within the EU.

The proposed embargo would block Russian crude oil imports within six months, whereas the imports of refined product would be stopped before the end of 2022.

As per the updated recommendations, the European companies are obligated to make ‘clear statement of their obligations fulfilled’ upon making their gas payments in either euros or dollars.

Th commission said the EU sanctions “do not prevent economic operators from opening a bank account in a designated bank for payments due under contracts for the supply of natural gas in a gaseous state, in the currency specified in those contracts.

“Operators should make a clear statement that they intend to fulfil their obligations under existing contracts and consider their contractual obligations regarding the payment already fulfilled by paying in euros or dollars, in line with the existing contracts.”

The EU’s revised guidelines does not stop European companies from opening an account with Russian bank Gazprombank.

The guidance does stop the firms from making gas payments in rubles.

Amid the Russian-Ukraine conflict, Israel is planning to increase its offshore natural gas production capacity and sign a supply deal with European countries in the coming months, as Europe looks for alternate supplies to Russian energy, reported Reuters.

In the next few years, Israel aims to double its gas production from approximately 20 billion cubic metres (bcm) to nearly 40bcm, reported the news agency, citing industry officials.

Israel currently supplies its own market and, through a local network of pipelines, it exports to neighbouring countries such as Egypt and Jordan while much of the additional gas is earmarked for Europe.