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Baltic states stop Russian gas imports over Ukraine invasion

Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania stop importing Russian gas as part of European efforts to curb reliance on Russian energy.

Pipes from Latvijas Gaze’s underground gas storage facility in Incukalns
The move comes as President Vladimir Putin has sought to leverage Russia’s status as an energy power [File: Ints Kalnins/Reuters]

Latvia says the Baltic states are no longer importing Russian natural gas, as European nations try to wean themselves off Russian energy sources in the wake of the Ukraine war.

“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,” Uldis Bariss, CEO of Conexus Baltic Grid – Latvia’s natural gas storage operator, said on Saturday.

Russia expels 10 diplomats from Baltic states in tit-for-tat move
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“Since April 1st, Russian natural gas is no longer flowing to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania,” he told Latvian radio, adding that the Baltic market was currently being served by gas reserves stored underground in Latvia.

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

With the Russian economy crippled by unprecedented international sanctions, Putin warned European Union members that they would need to set up rouble accounts to pay for Russian gas.

He said on 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 EU – which received about 40 percent of its gas supplies from Russia in 2021 – has retained deliveries from Moscow.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda called on the rest of the EU to follow the Baltic example.

“From this month on – no more Russian gas in Lithuania,” he said on Twitter.

“Years ago my country made decisions that today allow us with no pain to break energy ties with the agressor,” he added.

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