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Lithuania fully suspends Russian gas imports

Highlights

Demand now fully supplied via Klaipeda LNG terminal

Gas transit via Lithuania to Kaliningrad continues

  • Author
  • Rosemary Griffin
  • Editor
  • James Leech
  • Commodity
  • LNG Natural Gas

The Lithuanian Energy Ministry said April 2 that it has fully abandoned imports of Russian gas.

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Russian gas exporter Gazprom did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the matter.

The move comes as Europe tries to reduce Russian gas imports following the invasion of Ukraine, and on the back of Russia's later insistence on receiving payment for gas shipped to Europe in rubles.

"Lithuania's gas transmission system has been operating without Russian gas imports since the beginning of this month," the ministry said in a statement.

"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," the statement said.

The ministry said that Lithuanian gas demand is now being fully met by supplies through the Klaipeda LNG terminal. Delivery schedules include three large LNG cargoes per month.

"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," the ministry said.

Lithuanian Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys said that the end of Russian gas imports represents 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," he said, according to the statement.

Gas continues to transit through Lithuania to Kaliningrad, the ministry said.

Until 2014, Lithuania was entirely dependent on its gas imports from Russia and paid among the highest prices in Europe. It began importing LNG in late 2014 via its dedicated floating import terminal, called the Independence. Since then, its LNG imports have totaled almost 9.5 Bcm, according to data from S&P Global Commodity Insights. Norway and the US have been the main LNG suppliers via the terminal to date.

The start-up of Lithuania's LNG import facility at the end of 2014 led to Gazprom offering a significant discount on deliveries in 2015. Lithuania then negotiated a series of short-term deals with Gazprom.