Lithuania becomes first EU country to end imports of Russian gas

Baltic state of 2.6 million calls on other nations to stop buying oil and gas from Moscow.

Lithuania has become the first EU country to cut off Russian gas supplies completely, with the two other Baltic states also temporarily stopping its flow in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Lithuanian authorities said that from April 1 they would no longer import Russian gas but instead rely on liquefied natural gas from their terminal called Independence.

“From now . . . on Lithuania won’t be consuming a cubic cm of toxic Russian gas. Lithuania is the first EU country to refuse Russian gas import”, Ingrida Simonyte, Lithuania’s prime minister, wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

“In these circumstances, Russia’s demand to pay for gas in rubles is meaningless, as Lithuania no longer orders Russian gas and no longer plans to pay for it,” the Lithuanian Energy Ministry said in a statement.

Lithuania is the first among the EU states traditionally supplied by Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom to completely wean itself off imports from Moscow, Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys claimed. “This is the result of a multi-year, coherent energy policy and timely infrastructure decisions,” he said.

The ministry said that Lithuania’s gas distribution network has been operating without any supplies from Russia since Friday, which was Putin’s deadline for payment in rubles.

All of Lithuania’s gas supplies now come through the Klaipeda LNG import terminal on the country’s Baltic Sea coast. The terminal has bookings for three large cargoes to arrive each month, the Energy Ministry said, and gas can also be provided through links with Latvia and Poland if necessary.

Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia are also heavily dependent on Russian gas but the operator of Latvia’s natural gas storage said none of the three Baltic states were importing Russian gas as of April 2.

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