Baltic countries stop importing Russian gas

As the European Union struggles to get rid of Russian gas, which accounts for 40% of its imports, the Baltic countries (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) are ending their imports of natural gas from Russia. A great challenge. According to Eurostat, in 2020 Russia accounted for 93% of Estonia’s natural gas imports, 100% of Latvia’s imports and 41.8% of Lithuania’s imports.

“Years ago, my country made decisions that allow us today to easily cut energy ties with the aggressor,” Uldis Bariss, CEO of Latvian storage company Conexus Baltic Grid, told Latvian radio on Saturday.

The Baltic states now receive gas from gas reserves stored underground in Latvia. “If we can do it, the rest of Europe can do it too!” added Uldis Bariss.

On Twitter, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda also called on the rest of the European Union to follow the example of the Baltic states: “From this month there will be no more Russian gas in Lithuania,” he said.

Russian gas: why Europe is trapped

German Defense Minister wants debate on Russian gas import ban

Unlike the United States, which is less dependent on Russian gas, the EU has not declared an embargo on Russian hydrocarbons. But pressure is mounting following Moscow’s Thursday announcement to force buyers from “enemy” countries to pay for Russian gas in rubles from accounts in Russia, as well as Brussels and the UK’s willingness to impose new sanctions on Russia. after the massacres of civilians in Boutcha. .

According to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the Western allies will agree on new sanctions in the coming days. IRussian President Vladimir “Putin and his supporters must experience the consequences” of their actions, he said in a statement to reporters at the foreign ministry.

“And we will continue to supply weapons to Ukraine so that the country can defend itself.

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Sunday that the European Union should discuss a ban on Russian gas imports.

“There has to be an answer. Such crimes cannot go unanswered,” Christine Lambrecht told German public broadcaster ARD.

Berlin has so far rejected calls for an outright embargo on Russia’s gas, oil and coal imports, saying its economy, like that of other European countries, is too dependent on this source of energy.

But on Sunday, Christine Lambrecht said EU member states should now discuss such a ban, according to a message posted by her ministry on Twitter.

His Foreign Affairs colleague, Annalena Baerbock, had previously called on Sunday to tighten sanctions against Moscow, without however mentioning the energy sector. “Those responsible for these war crimes must be held accountable. We will tighten sanctions against Russia and continue to help Ukraine defend itself,” Annalena Baerbock said on Twitter.

The EU has been working on new sanctions for some time, but on Saturday Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said the new measures would not affect the energy sector.

Payment for Russian gas in rubles? In retaliation, Brussels studies new sanctions against Russia