RIGA - The government at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday tasked Latvenergo energy company with purchasing additional strategic gas reserves, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said in a news conference following the Cabinet meeting.
The prime minister indicated that Latvia already has sufficient gas supplies at its underground gas storage facility in Incukalns but that the government has tasked to increase this reserve to make sure Latvia is fully supplied with natural gas.
Economics Minister Janis Vitenbergs (National Alliance) said at the news conference that the government has ordered Latvenergo to purchase two terawatt hours of liquefied gas, an equivalent of two LNG tankers.
In Vitenbergs' words, the gas procurement might be announced already today but talks about the gas purchase have already taken place with the US, Qatar and Norway.
"At present Latvia has sufficient gas supplies, but this tasks to Latvenergo is meant for additional security," Vitenbergs said, adding that more gas might be purchased if needed.
The minister added that the additional gas supplies will be delivered to the Incukalns facility via an LNG terminal in Klaipeda, Lithuania.
Vitenbergs indicated that Latvia has gas reserves for at least 90 days, with 80 percent of these reserves stored in Latvia.
As reported, Russian President Vladimir Putin unexpectedly made an address on Russian TV channel Rossiya-24 on Thursday, announcing that Russia has started a "military operation" in Ukraine, calling on the Ukrainian army to "put down the weapons".
Reportedly attacks were conducted from different directions, including from Crimea occupied by Russia in 2014.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared war in Ukraine and announced the Ukraine breaks the diplomatic ties with Russia.
The EU, the US, the UK and other countries have threatened Russia with grave sanctions.