Lithuania has become the first European Union member state to refuse Russian gas imports, according to the country's prime minister.
“From now and so on Lithuania won't be consuming a cubic cm of toxic Russian gas," Ingrida Šimonytė said in a tweet Sunday.
This makes Lithuania the "first EU country" to refuse Russian gas imports, she added.
The EU has committed itself to reducing its dependence on Russian gas by 66% by the end of this year.
The European Union depends on Russia for about 40% of its natural gas. Russia also supplies about 27% of its oil imports, and 46% of its coal imports. Taken together, that trade is worth tens of billions of dollars a year to Russia.
It has promised to diversify its energy supplies before, notably back in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Little progress was made, partly because Germany — Russia's biggest energy customer in Europe — didn't want to rock the boat with Moscow.
But President Vladimir Putin's decision to order last month's invasion changed all that.
In early March, EU officials outlined plans to slash Russian gas imports by 66% this year.
A few days later, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the bloc's leaders had agreed to spend the next two months drafting proposals for eliminating the EU's dependency on Russian energy imports by 2027.
And on March 25, US President Joe Biden announced a new initiative that includes the United States working toward supplying Europe with at least 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas in 2022, in partnership with other nations, the White House said.
Overall, Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and oil has proved a major sticking point in Western efforts to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. While the US banned Russian energy imports, Europe found it far more difficult to cut off its supplies, CNN reports