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Lithuania abandons Russian gas imports, urges EU to do the same

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By Euronews  with AP
 Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda speaks a media conference at the Presidential palace in Vilnius, March 21, 2022.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda speaks a media conference at the Presidential palace in Vilnius, March 21, 2022.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis, file

Lithuania's energy ministry said they had completely abandoned Russian gas imports in response to the war in Ukraine.

"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," said Dainius Kreivys, the country's energy minister.

Lithuania's Russian gas imports were reduced to zero on Saturday, with all demand now satisfied through cargoes delivered to a liquefied natural gas terminal in Klaipeda.

"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," the energy ministry said.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda hailed the move, saying there was no more Russian gas in Lithuania.

"Years ago my country made decisions that today allow us with no pain to break energy ties with the aggressor," Nauseda tweeted.

"If we can do it, the rest of Europe can do it too," he wrote.

In 2015, nearly 100% of Lithuania’s gas supplies were derived from imports of Russian gas but the situation has changed drastically over the past years after the country built an off-shore LNG import terminal in the port city of Klaipeda.

Last year, some 26% of Lithuania’s gas supplies came from deliveries from a Russian gas pipeline.

EU countries heavily rely on Russian natural gas for heating homes and electricity and some member states have been against a full embargo as part of sanctions.