Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia have stopped importing Russian gas since 1 April, the CEO of the Lithuanian storage company Conexus Baltic Grid said on Saturday.
The Baltic States are now using gas reserves stocked underground in Lithuania, CEO Uldis Bariss said on Lithuanian radio, reports Belga News Agency.
On Saturday, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda took to Twitter to announce the ban and urge the rest of the EU to follow the Baltic States’ example. "From this month on – no more Russian gas in Lithuania," he tweeted. "Years ago, my country made decisions that today allow us with no pain to break energy ties with the aggressor. If we can do it, the rest of Europe can do it too."
“Some EU countries need time to break their energy ties with Russia,” Bariss said. “I’m sure we’ll get there. Even when the war in Ukraine is over, we can’t get back to business as usual. Europe’s attitude towards Russia is changing dramatically.”
While the United States has banned Russian oil and gas imports since the invasion of Ukraine, the EU, which imported about 40% of its supply from Russia in 2021, has not done so.
However, Thursday’s announcement by Moscow that “unfriendly” countries would have to pay for Russian gas in rubles from accounts in Russia could change things.
Germany, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas, said on Friday it would analyse the concrete consequences of the Kremlin’s decision, aimed above all at shoring up the Russian currency. Berlin, like other EU governments, is refusing to make any payments in rubles to Moscow.