TALLINN – The Estonian government has taken a decision to impose a legally binding national sanction on Russian gas from Jan. 1, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said at the government's press conference on Thursday.
Reinsalu noted that the political will to give up Russian gas was expressed by the previous government already this spring, but now it was set out as a legally binding measure.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the sanction will affect first and foremost Estonian gas companies whose authorizations entitle them to import natural gas or provide transmission services. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, there are nine companies with valid authorizations to import gas and one company with an authorization to provide transmission services.
The measure will not bring any change to the supply of gas for household consumers, since almost no natural gas has been delivered to Estonia from Russia since April 2022.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut said the sanction does not affect the security of Estonia's gas supply.
"We have taken a number of important steps to ensure the availability of gas when Russian imports cease, such as building LNG terminal reception capacity and increasing transmission capacity at existing interconnection points. To further mitigate the risk, we have established a state strategic gas reserve at the Estonian Stockpiling Agency, and Elering has also taken care of a reserve for protected consumers," Sikkut said.
The sanction enters into force on Dec. 31.
Reinsalu said at the government's press conference that the European Commission has also proposed a package of new sanctions on Russia.
"It provides for export bans on certain goods, as well as import bans, the extension of prohibitions on the provision of services, their extension to the so-called 'people's republics' of Donetsk and Luhansk, the extension of the sanctions also to the so-called civilian governments of the occupation authorities of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions," the minister explained.
In addition, the Commission made a proposal in principle for the European Union to enforce the oil price cap agreed by the G7.