By Alexander Miller, emerging market consultant – Eurasia Business News, April 2, 2022

Since the beginning of April, the Baltic countries – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – no longer receive natural gas from Russia, reported Uldis Bariss, CEO of natural gas system operator CONEXUS Baltic Grid (Conexus).

The top manager explained that Russian gas is delivered by two suppliers – the Klaipeda liquefied natural gas terminal and the Inčukaln underground gas storage facility. The CEO of Conexus stressed that Russia’s statement that the natural gas supplied must be paid only in Russian rubles was a signal of the need to drastically reduce supplies from Russia, since Baltic states refuse to pay in rubles.

From the point of view of energy security, the state definitely needs to resolve the issue of building a second LNG terminal – the faster, the better“, said Uldis Bariss.

The CEO of CONEXUS noted that the Inčukalno gas storage facility currently has an atypical amount of gas for this period – 7.6 terawatt-hours. This is almost as much as Latvia and Lithuania together consume in the winter months. Therefore, there is no cause for concern in the coming months.

This year, the Inčukalnskoye Gas Storage Facility began the injection season on February 26, which is much earlier than usual to ensure gas reserves.

Since April 1st, a new procedure for paying for Russian gas supplies was introduced by a decree of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. The new regulation provides for the mandatory conversion of the currency of contracts into rubles through Gazprombank. So far, Gazprom’s European gas buyers have officially refused to pay Russian gas in rubles.

Vladimir Putin took announced this week, in a televised address, that Russia would no longer deliver gas to “unfriendly” countries that refused to pay in rubles from this Friday, April 1. 

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© Copyright 2022 – Alexander Miller, emerging markets consultant.