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Baltic countries no longer import Russian gas: “If we can do that, maybe the rest of Europe”


“Years ago, my country made decisions that now allow us to easily break the energy ties with the aggressor,” Uldis Bariss, CEO of Conexus Baltic Grid, told Latvian radio.

“If we can do that, so can the rest of Europe!” He said. The Baltic countries are now served by underground gas reserves in Latvia.

On Twitter, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda urged the rest of the European Union to follow the example of the Baltic countries: “As of this month, there is no Russian gas in Lithuania,” he said.

All of Lithuania’s gas needs are now provided through the liquefied natural gas terminal in Klaipeda.

“In an effort to achieve full energy independence from Russian gas, in response to Russia’s energy blackmail in Europe and the war in Ukraine, Lithuania has completely abandoned Russian gas: the Lithuanian gas transmission system operates without imports of Russian gas from beginning of this month “, said the statement of the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy.

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All of Lithuania’s gas needs are now being met through the liquefied natural gas terminal in Klaipeda. For the foreseeable future, customers have placed orders for gas transportation only through the terminal. If necessary, gas can also be supplied to Lithuania through the gas connection with Latvia, and from 1 May – through the interconnection with the Polish gas network.

Energy Minister Dainius Kreivis stressed that this is a turning point in Lithuania’s history of energy independence:

“We are the first EU country among Gazprom beneficiaries to be independent of Russian gas supplies, and this is the result of long-term coherence, energy policy and timely infrastructure solutions,” he said.

Russia’s energy blackmail in Europe

On March 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had decided to accept payment for gas supplied to Europe in Russian rubles only.

Under these circumstances, Russia’s request to pay for ruble gas is losing its meaning, as Lithuania no longer orders Russian gas and does not intend to pay for it.

Gas transiting Lithuania continues to be transported for the needs of Koenigsberg (Kaliningrad), but in a different technical way than usual, ensuring the transfer of only the amount of gas in transit.

The United States has banned imports of Russian oil and gas after the invasion of Ukraine, but not the EU, which supplies about 40 percent of Russia in 2021.

Moscow’s announcement on Thursday to force buyers from “unfriendly” countries to pay for Russian gas in rubles from Russian accounts, however, could change the game.

Germany, which is particularly dependent on Russian gas, said on Friday it wanted to consider the concrete consequences of the Kremlin decree, which was intended mainly to support the ruble. Berlin, like other EU countries, refuses any payment in rubles to Moscow.

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