The first article from early Sunday morning from Europe was obvious:
From the original story:
Baltic countries, comprising Lativia, Lithuania and Estonia, have said they are no longer importing Russian gas and oil. Lithuania’s energy minister Dainius Kreivys said on Saturday the country has become the first in the European Union (EU) to break its dependence on Moscow’s gas and oil.
Later, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda took to Twitter to state, “If we can do it, the rest of Europe can do it too!”
The head of Latvia’s natural gas storage operator said none of the three Baltic states were importing Russian gas as of April 2. “Years ago my country made decisions that today allow us with no pain to break energy ties with the aggressor,” Nauseda tweeted.
That was yesterday morning.
Tonight? A suddenly different story:
Latvia switches to ruble payments for gas, entering into a long-term contract with Gazprom until 2030.— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) April 4, 2022
"The procedure for settlements in Russian rubles does not formally violate the sanctions" ##
From the horse’s mouth:
JSC “Latvijas Gāze” has entered into a valid long-term agreement on the supply of natural gas until 2030 with PJSC “Gazprom”, which provides for settlements for natural gas in euros.
According to the changes in the legislation of the Russian Federation, starting from April 1, 2022, settlements for natural gas supplies made after April 1, 2022 in accordance with the foreign trade agreements of PJSC “Gazprom” for the supply of natural gas abroad (to a number of countries) shall be made only in Russian rubles.
Assessing the compliance of the said change of the settlement procedure with the previously established sanction regime, the first impression is that such settlement procedure – in Russian rubles – does not formally violate the sanction regime and is possible. At present, Latvijas Gāze continues to analyze in depth the change in the proposed settlement method both from the legal point of view and from the point of view of the Group’s business interests.
JSC “Latvijas Gāze” Chairman of the Board Aigars Kalvītis “we would like to emphasize that the amount of natural gas reserves of JSC Latvijas Gāze in the natural gas storage facility is sufficient to fulfill its contractual obligations to households and other customers by supplying the natural gas pumped into the storage facility. The decision not to pump gas through pipelines in April was taken in view of the historically high natural gas prices in April, which would lead to disproportionately high natural gas sales prices to our customers and make such offers uncompetitive.”
As before – JSC “Latvijas Gāze” continues to supply natural gas to households and other customers in accordance with the obligations of the concluded contracts and within the terms stipulated in the contract and is fully prepared to do so below.
On behalf of the JSC “Latvijas Gāze”,
Chairman of the Board
Someone in Moscow is laughing their ass off just about now….