While the European Union is struggling to get rid of Russian gas, which accounts for 40% of its imports, the Baltic countries (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) are halting their gas imports from Russia. A big challenge. According to Eurostat, Russia accounted for 93% of Estonian natural gas imports, 100% of Latvian imports and 41.8% of Lithuanian imports in 2020.
“Years ago, my country made decisions that today allow us to easily sever energy ties with the aggressor,” Uldis Bariss, CEO of the Latvian storage company, told Latvian radio Conexus Baltic Grid on Saturday.
The Baltic States are now supplied with gas from underground gas reserves in Latvia. “If we can do it, so can the rest of Europe!” added Uldis Bariss.
On Twitter, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda also urged the rest of the European Union to follow the example of the Baltic countries: “No more Russian gas in Lithuania from this month,” he said.
Federal Defense Minister wants debate on Russian gas import ban
Unlike the United States, which is less dependent on Russian gas, the EU has not imposed an embargo on Russian hydrocarbons. But pressure is mounting after Moscow’s announcement on Thursday that it would force buyers from “unfriendly” countries to pay for Russian gas in rubles from accounts in Russia, and a willingness by Brussels and Britain to impose new sanctions on Russia following the massacre of civilians in Boutcha to impose .
According to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the western allies will agree on new sanctions in the coming days. LRussian President Vladimir “Putin and his supporters must bear the consequences of their actions,” he said in a press statement in the Chancellery.
“And we will continue to supply arms to Ukraine so that the country can defend itself.
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Sunday that the European Union should discuss an import ban on Russian gas.
“There has to be an answer. Such crimes must not go unanswered,” said Christine Lambrecht of ARD.
Berlin has so far rejected calls for a total embargo on gas, oil and coal imports from Russia on the grounds that its economy, like that of other European countries, is too dependent on this energy source.
But on Sunday, Christine Lambrecht said EU member states should now discuss such a ban, according to a statement by her ministry on Twitter.
Earlier on Sunday, his foreign policy colleague Annalena Baerbock had called for sanctions against Moscow to be tightened, but without mentioning the energy sector. “Those responsible for these war crimes must be held accountable. We will tighten sanctions against Russia and continue to help Ukraine defend itself,” Annalena Baerbock said on Twitter.
The EU has been working on new sanctions for some time, but on Saturday Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said new measures would not affect the energy sector.