Lithuania stopped importing oil, natural gas and electricity from Russia today. On Twitter, the country’s government rejoices that Lithuania will henceforth be completely independent of Russian energy and says the mission is possible.
Lithuania is the first Baltic country to completely stop importing energy. The Baltic countries have been working away from Russian energy for a long time, but like the rest of Europe, finding alternative energy sources has been a headache. For geographical reasons, the Baltics have been highly dependent on Russia.
Lithuania cut off gas imports from Russia as early as April. President of the country Gitan Nauseda stated at the time that if Lithuania was able to do that, so would the rest of Europe.
A significant piece of exit is the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal opened in Klaipeda, Lithuania, eight years ago, which makes Lithuania the least dependent on Russian gas supplies from the Baltic States. It is also hoped that a new lng terminal will be completed in Estonia later this year.
In Finland, too, the focus has shifted to the Baltics, as the options for bringing liquefied natural gas to Finland by ship and the Balticonnector pipeline connecting the Baltics and Finland are alternatives after Russia cut off gas supplies to Finland.
The Lithuanian Minister of Energy justifies the decision by ending the financing of the Russian military machinery. By buying Russian energy, European countries have financed Russia with tens of billions of euros since the Russian invasion began.
The Ukrainian leadership in particular has been very critical of European countries for continuing to import Russian energy. So far, the EU has imposed sanctions only on coal imports. The fifth package of pending sanctions is intended to ban oil imports after a transitional period, but no agreement has been reached between member states on the ban.