Baltic states become first in Europe to stop Russian gas imports

(EurActiv, 4 Apr 2022) The head of Latvia’s natural gas storage operator said Saturday (2 April) the Baltic states were no longer importing Russian gas, a decision made in reaction to the Kremlin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

“If there were still any doubts about whether there may be any trust in deliveries from Russia, current events clearly show us that there is no more trust,” said Uldis Bariss, CEO of Conexus Baltic Grid.

“Since April 1st Russian natural gas is no longer flowing to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania,” he told Latvian radio.

He added that the Baltic market was currently being served by gas reserves stored underground in Latvia.

The move comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to leverage Russia’s status as an energy power.

With his economy crippled by unprecedented international sanctions, Putin warned EU members that they would need to set up ruble accounts to pay for Russian gas.

He said Thursday that existing contracts would be halted if the payments were not made.

While the United States banned the import of Russian oil and gas, the European Union – which received around 40% of its gas supplies from Russia in 2021 – has retained deliveries from Moscow.

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EurActiv, 4 Apr 2022: Baltic states become first in Europe to stop Russian gas imports