The Baltic states have stopped importing Russian natural gas, which “has not been supplied to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania since April 1,” the head of the Latvian storage company Connexus Baltic Grid said on Saturday.
“Years ago, my country made decisions today that would allow it to easily sever energy ties with the aggressor,” Uldis Barris, CEO of the Connexus Baltic Grid, told Latvian Radio.
“If we can do it, the rest of Europe can do it too!” He said. The Baltic states are now supplied by gas reserves stored underground in Latvia.
On Twitter, Lithuanian President Gitanos Nouseda called on the rest of the European Union to follow the example of the Baltic states: “There is no Russian gas in Lithuania from this month.”
The United States has banned Russia’s oil and gas imports since the invasion of Ukraine, but not the EU, which is sourcing nearly 40% of Russia’s by 2021.
Moscow’s announcement on Thursday could be a game-changer to force buyers from “friendly” countries to pay rubles for Russian gas from accounts in Russia.
Germany, particularly dependent on Russian gas, said on Friday it would like to analyze the concrete consequences of the Kremlin’s decree, which aims to support the ruble. Berlin, like other EU countries, has refused to pay Moscow any rubles.