VILNIUS – Lithuania could survive without natural gas supplied by Russia’s Gazprom, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said.
“It could. There are certain technical aspects due to which that gas is purchased [from Gazprom] but it would not be a problem for Lithuania to refuse Gazprom’s gas supplies,” she said during a news conference on Wednesday when asked whether Lithuania’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Klaipeda would be able to ensure the required supply of gas to Lithuania and how long Lithuania would continue buying gas from Gazprom.
“We definitely can provide ourselves with gas through Klaipedos Nafta [LNG terminal], that’s the fact. It would definitely not be critical for us if Gazprom were to cut off gas supplies. Lithuania will definitely provide itself with gas using other routes,” she said.
Simonyte also said that Lithuania was getting ready for autonomous operation with respect to the provision of gas in particular as the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad was doing the same.
“We see Kaliningrad getting ready for autonomous operation. We see that and therefore are also getting ready for that,” she said when asked about Russia’s LNG vessels sailing to Kaliningrad.
As estimated by Swedbank economist Nerijus Maciulis, Lithuania spent around 140 million euros on Russian gas last year. Lithuania could renounce Russian gas and electricity completely, he said adding that Lithuania was ready to do so and had the necessary infrastructure.
State-owned gas supplier Ignitis earlier told BNS that Gazprom gas amounted to less than a third of Lithuania's gas portfolio last year and the share was going down as the company was buying more LNG from other sources. The company also said that it bought zero gas from Gazprom in January.