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    German soldiers attend a ceremony to welcome the German battalion being deployed to Lithuania as part of NATO deterrence measures against Russia in Rukla, Lithuania February 7, 2017

    Russia Forced to Respond to NATO Boosting Activities in Lithuania - Ambassador

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has to take measures, including the deployment of more troops in the country's west, to respond to increased NATO activity in Lithuania, Russian Ambassador to Vilnius told Sputnik Thursday.

    "Under the current conditions, Russia is forced to take adequate response measures. These include the deployment of new units and divisions of the national armed forces in the western part of Russia and changing the focus of military planning to ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia", the diplomat said.

    Moscow has repeatedly raised concerns over NATO drills in Eastern Europe, stating that the presence of the alliance’s forces would not reduce tensions, but would instead lead to a deterioration of relations between the two sides.

    On Gas Supplies

    Udaltsov also told Sputnik that Gazprom was earnestly fulfilling its obligations under a gas transit deal with Lithuania and there were no grounds to believe that the supplies might be stopped.

    "The new gas supply contract for this year between Gazprom and Lithuania was signed in January. In 2017, the volume of Russian gas consumed by our Baltic neighbour reached 59 percent, totalling 1.4 billion cubic meters… In this regard, it makes no sense to talk about any risks of a gas shutdown, since Gazprom conscientiously fulfils all its contract obligations", the diplomat said in an interview.

    Udaltsov added that there were no grounds for abandoning cooperation with Lithuania on gas transit from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad region either, as pipeline gas supplies were still the cheapest option to provide energy for Russia's enclave.

    He also mentioned that gas processed at the LNG terminal near Russia's Kaliningrad may be transported to foreign consumers and would be cheaper than LNG supplies from the other countries.

    READ MORE: Lithuanian Parl't Votes to Buy Floating LNG Terminal After 2024 — Ministry

    "Speaking of the Baltic region, of course, LNG loses to cheaper pipeline gas from the point of view of the price. Therefore, the infrastructure that was recently created in the Kaliningrad region to receive and regasify LNG  should rather be considered as an alternative ensuring the energy security of the Russian exclave. However, we will also be able to supply Russian LNG to other consumers, given the lower costs for its transportation than for similar supplies from more distant countries, such as the United States, Qatar or South Korea", the diplomat said.

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    Tags:
    LNG terminals, gas supplies, LNG, gas, NATO, Russia, Kaliningrad region, Lithuania
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