Russian energy imports to the EU will be much lower already in the foreseeable future - Kazaks

  • 2022-03-15
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Imports of Russian energy resources into the European Union (EU) will be much lower in the foreseeable future than a month ago, the Governor of the Bank of Latvia Martins Kazaks predicted in an interview with LETA.

"As far as energy is concerned, this is the beginning of a new phase, so to speak, of a 'new normal'. In the short term, energy prices will be high and fluctuations unpredictable, but our main challenges is to improve energy efficiency, as these have been delayed in recent years. At present, we are simply paying for Russia's energy resources. By creating a renewable energy base, we can also make this profitable," said Kazaks.

Regarding the failure of EU leaders to agree on sanctions on Russia's energy resources, on which Europe is relatively dependent on, Kazaks said that this could just be a matter of time. 

"One thing must be emphasized - the Western world does not see this war as a problem for Ukraine, not as a problem for Russia's neighbors, but as a problem for the whole of Europe and the world. Solidarity is very high. Yes, the intended sanctions are not always implemented immediately, but they are eventually. The United States has already imposed certain sanctions on Russia's energy resources, and other countries have followed suit. If we look at the EU, there are no common sanctions at the moment, but let us not forget that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is closed, and let us also not forget that the EU is committed to pursuing ambitious targets quickly to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. Thus, even if there are currently no direct EU sanctions against Russia in the field of energy resources, the action is clear - to reduce dependence on Russia, to buy much less from it as soon as possible and to create renewable energy on the spot," the Governor of the Bank of Latvia emphasized.

He reminded that this was also in line with the EU's green course and sustainable economic growth.

Kazaks acknowledged that the transition to EU-produced energy would be difficult and in some cases costly. However, in the Baltic States, for example, there are already a number of elements that can make a significant contribution in the coming years, including the liquefied gas terminal in Klaipeda and the Incukalns underground gas storage facility right here in Latvia.