Latvia is in a very difficult situation. The country does not have many natural resources, gas especially; so, in years past, it must rely on Russian suppliers. With Russia’s recent sword-rattling, and Latvia’s troubling recent history, it’s no surprise that Riga tries to become more independent from its Slavic neighbor.
Oct 16 (Reuters) – Latvia and Lithuania have agreed to work on developing a gas market, committing to provide participants with access to infrastructure, a memorandum signed on Friday showed.
Lithuania opened a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in 2014 and started exporting natural gas to neighbouring Estonia earlier this year, breaking the supply monopoly of Russia’s Gazprom.
“By signing the memorandum of understanding, both the countries commit to work together to encourage the entry of new gas suppliers in the market,” Latvia’s Economy Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said.
“It is important for Latvia to diversify its sources of natural gas supplies while working on liberalisation of the gas market of Latvia,” she added.
This news comes in the wake of US Congressmen affirming their support for the increase in Latvian national security.
This agreement with Lithuania effectively breaks the hold that Russia’s biggest gas supplier, Gazprom, has on Latvia. It’s not only an economic but also political move to become less dependent on Russia, instead relying on their Baltic neighbors.