Lithuania has become the second European country within a month to have electricity supplies from Russia halted.
Inter RAO, the only importer of electricity from Russia to Lithuania, confirmed the suspension of deliveries would begin on Sunday, according to Russian state-media Tass News Agency. Earlier this month, Inter RAO's Nordic branch stopped sending power to Finland after formally applying to join NATO.
"According to the decision of the electricity exchange operator Nord Pool, trading in electricity generated in Russia, which was carried out by Inter RAO (through its subsidiary Inter RAO Lietuva), is terminated" starting from May 22, Lithuania's Energy Ministry said in a statement.
It wasn't immediately clear why power trading between both countries was halted, though it comes as the Baltic nation (and NATO member) was the first European Union member to slash natural gas imports from Russia last month.
Lithuanian Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys said Friday that cutting imports of Russian energy supplies, including oil, electricity, and natural gas, has allowed it to become "energy independent."
While Lithuania says halting Russian energy imports is a move toward energy freedom, Inter RAO explained that the country could not pay for electricity.
"Inter RAO has received notices from [exchange operator] Nord Pool about the suspension of trading by subsidiaries due to the risk of being unable to pay for Russian electricity," the company told TASS.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently declared that "unfriendly countries" countries must pay for energy products in rubles. He said if any country refuses to settle in Russian currency, "existing contracts will be suspended."
Form Sunday, Lithuania will ramp up domestic electricity generation and increase imports from other EU countries. The latest figures show Lithuania, in 2021, imported 17% of all its domestic electricity demand from Russia.
What's apparent is that Russian energy supplies are being reduced towards NATO countries or countries attempting to join NATO, along with ones who refuse to pay rubles.