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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 22.09.2021, 03:14

Lithuania should not fear for Russian gas

Petras Vaida, BC, Vilnius, 07.01.2009.Print version
The probability that Lithuania may in the future get into a situation similar to that now faced by other European countries that are not recieving gas, is very unlikely, believes Kestutis Sadauskas, head of the representative office of the European Commission in Lithuania.

According to him, Russia is unlikely to be risking the welfare of Kaliningrad district residents, who receive gas via Lithuania. Moreover, the Russian energy concern Gazprom is interested in selling gas to Lithuania, which pays for it a very high price, because the gas monopolists suffer from the burden of debts. Meanwhile, Lietuvos Dujos claim that this situation is in a way beneficial to Lithuania, because the pressure of gas on the border has increased due to higher transit via Belarus, writes ELTA.


As reported, due to the dispute on gas between Ukraine and Russia the supply of gas to Europe via the transit through Ukraine has fully stopped. Lithuania has not experienced any difficulties because Russian gas reaches Lithuania via Belarus. Moreover, gas to Kaliningrad is supplied via transit through Lithuania.


"It would be very radical and difficult to understand if the gas supply was suspended and million of residents in Kaliningrad were left without gas. The main heating plants in Kaliningrad operate on gas," the head of the representative office of the European Commission in Lithuania told ELTA.


According to Sadauskas, Russia"s economic interest is also highly important – Russia is interested in selling gas to Lithuania, because Gazprom already has many debts.


The debts of Gazprom reach several tens of billion of U.S. dollars, it has to return them, therefore it will be looking for markets. Russia is highly dependable on Europe – Europe is the main purchaser of gas," Sadauskas said.


According to him, Russia will suffer a lot in the light of the conflict with Ukraine, because its image of a reliable energy supplier has cracked. Moreover, Europe can start considering alternative energy sources more actively and this is not beneficial to Moscow. On the other hand, this conflict has also raised questions regarding the reliability of Ukraine as a transit country. Purportedly the EU is yet not trying to decide who is more to blame, however, there are doubts regarding the statements of both parties.


"Ukraine"s statements about the necessity to suck part of the gas sound strange as well as Russia"s claims that Ukraine is stealing such a big amount of gas do – the reduction of gas supply was smaller than the amount needed by Ukraine," Sadauskas underlined. According to him, even in the marginal case if the gas supply to Lithuania was ever suspended due to an argument between Russia and Belarus, our country would be able to use a reserve in a gas storage in Latvia for some time.

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