Lithuania is the first country to abandon the use of Russian gas in a landmark decision against Moscow’s energy blackmail in Europe and the war in Ukraine.
The country’s Energy Ministry announced that Lithuania’s gas system will operate without importing Russian crude from early April.
The country’s gas distributor, Amber Grid, later confirmed the claims and revealed today that the Kremlin’s gas accounts are 0 MWh in Lithuania, local outlet lrt.lt reports.
Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys said the move was a turning point in Lithuania’s energy independence mission.
He said: “We are the first EU country among Gazprom’s supplying countries to ensure independence from Russian gas supplies, and this is the result of a long-term consistent energy policy and timely infrastructure decisions.”
President Gitanas Nausėda wrote on Twitter that the decision to end dependence on Russian energy was made many years ago.
He added that it “allows us to sever energy links with the attacker without pain.”
The President went on to criticize Europe for not cutting ties to supply the Kremlin, saying: “If we can, so can the rest of Europe.”
Alamy Stock Photo)
During a joint press conference with the Danish Prime Minister, Mr Nauseda added: “[The] The Kremlin regime uses this money to finance the destruction of Ukrainian cities and attacks on peaceful civilians.”
“The fifth package of sanctions must deal a maximum blow to the Kremlin regime,” he said.
In response to the news, Russian gas supplier Gazprom told Amber Grid that it no longer plans to import gas through Belarus and into Lithuania.
Although several countries have banned Russian crude oil outright in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, the European Union – which gets 40% of its gas from Russia – remains divided.
Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States have imposed outright bans on Russian oil purchases since Putin ordered the invasion on February 24.
The bloc’s 27 members failed to agree on an embargo, with Germany warning against hasty moves that could push the economy into recession and some countries, such as Hungary, opposed any bans.
Bloomberg via Getty Images)
But Germany is aiming to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of this year, officials said, as did Poland.
Many buyers in Europe voluntarily avoid Russian crude to avoid reputational damage or potential legal troubles.
Exports of Russian oil products from the Black Sea port of Tuapse in March were half of plan, falling to 738,000 tons as European buyers stayed away.
Meanwhile, India and China, which have refused to condemn the Kremlin’s actions, continue to buy crude oil from Russian suppliers.
Lured by steep rebates following Western sanctions against Russian companies, India has bought at least 13 million barrels of Russian crude since late February.
That compares to around 16 million barrels for all of 2021, data compiled by Reuters shows.
British oil company BP is divesting its stake in Rosneft and will not do any new business with Russian companies for shipment to Russian ports unless it is “essential to ensure security of supply,” reports Reuters.
Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
How far does Britain have to go before it can achieve Lithuanian status?
In early March, UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced that the UK would begin phasing out Russian oil imports in direct response to the invasion.
Unlike Lithuania, the UK’s ‘phasing out’ will not happen immediately to give businesses and consumers ‘time to adjust’, says a Gov.uk report.
But unlike the EU and other world powers, the UK does not depend on Russian oil, which accounts for just 8% of total demand.
Russian natural gas accounts for four percent of UK supply.
Mr Kwarteng said the UK will work with alternative suppliers “beyond Russia” – including the Netherlands and the US. He also mentioned Saudi Arabia, which despite its appalling human rights record, still accounts for part of Britain’s oil demand.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would be a year before Britain gave up its Russian oil needs.
The announcement came just days after another ban was announced.
On March 1, the government banned all Russian ships from entering British ports and gave authorities new powers to detain ships.
According to the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) for 2020 – the latest data available – the UK does not use Russian oil for petrol, fuel oil or fuel oil.
But to remove Russian crude from Britain’s supply, the British will need to significantly reduce their reliance on diesel.
Russian diesel currently makes up a large part of the supply at 18%.
Jet fuel, also known as jet fuel, is used in gas turbine-powered aircraft – and Russian supplies account for around five per cent of all fuel consumed in the UK.
Russian imports of red diesel, used in tractors, other farm machinery and off-road vehicles, account for 1% of UK supply.
EU energy companies are still buying Russian crude oil
A Bulgarian refinery owned by the Russian company Lukoil, which extracts about 60% of its crude oil from Russian crude, continues to refine Russian crude.
Russian crude still accounts for about 14% of revenue at Germany’s largest refinery, Miro, which is 24% owned
The German refinery PCK Schwedt, 54% owned by Rosneft, receives crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline.
The landlocked Leuna refinery in eastern Germany, which is majority-owned by TotalEnergies, is also supplied with Russian crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline.
Greece’s largest oil refiner relies on Russian crude for about 15% of its intake. The company secured earlier this month
additional supplies from Saudi Arabia.
Italy’s largest refinery, owned by Lukoil-controlled Switzerland-based Litasco SA, processes Russian and non-Russian crude.
The Hungarian oil major, which operates three refineries in Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia, continues to buy Russian crude through the Druzhba pipeline as well as refined products, a company source told Reuters.
Hungary opposes sanctions on Russian oil and gas.
The Dutch refinery, which is 45% owned by Lukoil, declined to comment on whether it uses Russian crude.
Exxon Mobil declined to comment on whether its Dutch refinery in Rotterdam uses Russian crude.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/lithuania-first-country-stop-using-26621230 Lithuania becomes first country to stop using Russian gas in milestone in anti-Ukraine war - World News