Estonia to phase out Russian gas from 2023

HELSINKI, Sep 29 – PRIME. The Estonian government on Thursday adopted a resolution according to which a ban on the purchase of natural gas from Russia is introduced as a sanction from January 1, 2023, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said.

Most EU countries have called for a cap on gas prices, a source said.

“Already in April, the government made a decision in principle that the country was refusing Russian gas, now this is enshrined as a legally binding measure. From January 1, Estonia introduces a national sanction against Russian gas. The purpose of the sanction is to put pressure on Russia to stop its military aggression against Ukraine, since natural gas is an important source of income for Russia and is used as a lever of influence on the European Union,” Reinsalu said at a press conference in Tallinn.

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According to the government, the sanction primarily affects Estonian gas companies, whose operating license entitles them to import natural gas or provide gas transit services.

For residential consumers, the measure will not lead to a change in supplies, since since April 2022, almost no natural gas has been supplied from Russia to Estonia.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24. President Vladimir Putin called its goal “the protection of people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years.” For this, according to him, it is planned to carry out “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine”, to bring to justice all war criminals responsible for “bloody crimes against civilians” in Donbass. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces strike only at the military infrastructure and Ukrainian troops and, as of March 25, they have completed the main tasks of the first stage – they have significantly reduced the combat potential of Ukraine. The main goal in the Russian military department was called the liberation of Donbass.

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