Seeking full energy independence from Russian gas, in response to Russia's energy blackmail in Europe and the war in Ukraine, Lithuania has completely abandoned Russian gas: Lithuania's gas transmission system has been operating without Russian gas imports since the beginning of this month.
This is confirmed by the data of the Lithuanian gas transmission system operator Amber Grid, which shows that on 2 April the import of Russian gas for Lithuania's needs through the Lithuanian-Belarusian interconnection was equal to 0 MWh.
On Friday, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda stressed to EU leaders the urgent need to take all measures to reduce energy dependence on Russia. According to Gitanas Nausėda, the EU’s disconnection from Russia’s energy supply should take place without delay by diversifying energy import sources, ensuring sufficient gas reserves in the EU and enabling mechanisms for price control and the security of energy sources. During the meeting, the President proposed that EU leaders create conditions for the Eastern Partnership countries to participate in the EU’s joint oil and gas purchases.
“We are financing the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine by buying Russian gas and oil. Reducing our energy dependence on Russia is a step that the EU had to take a long time ago. Today we have a great opportunity to diversify energy sources, to ensure their reliability and security as well as to have more leverage to control energy prices,” the Lithuanian leader said.
The President emphasized that the current security situation and the unprecedented scale of sanctions against Russia would also have an effect on the EU’s internal market and economy. We need to prepare for this, the President noted, by investing in sustainable energy and innovations and by strengthening the internal market.
All lithuanian gas demand is satisfied through klaipeda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. The official schedules planned by the liquefied natural gas terminal operator Klaipedos Nafta indicate that three large cargoes of liquefied natural gas will reach the terminal each month, which are planned to be enough for all customers. For the next period, customers have placed orders for gas transportation only from the terminal. If necessary, gas can also be delivered to Lithuania via the gas link with Latvia, and from 1 May – through the gas link with Poland.
Minister of Energy Dainius Kreivys says that this is a turning point in the history of Lithuania's energy independence: "We are the first EU country among Gazprom's supply countries to gain independence from Russian gas supplies, and this is the result of a multi-year coherent energy policy and timely infrastructure decisions".
In these circumstances, Russia's demand to pay for gas in rubles is meaningless, as Lithuania no longer orders Russian gas and no longer plans to pay for it. In response, Russian gas supply company Gazprom informed Amber Grid that it no longer wants to import gas from Russia via the Lithuanian-Belarusian link.
Gas in transit through Lithuania continues to be transported for the needs of Königsberg, but in a different technical mode than usual, ensuring only the transfer of the amount of gas required for transit.