It is a move aimed at reducing the EU Baltic state’s heavy dependence on Russian gas deliveries

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are concerned about Russia’s actions in Ukraine and fear that Moscow could attempt to destabilise its Soviet-era Baltic backyard.

“LNG exports by the US may weaken the position of Russia which uses its energy resources as an energy weapon to blackmail countries dependent on Russian gas,” said Lithuania’s Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis.

Lithuania’s first floating LNG terminal started commercial activity in January, becoming the first such facility to sever Moscow’s grip on gas deliveries to the Baltic states.

Lithuania will initially import 0.54 billion cubic metres of gas from Statoil in 2015, covering about one-fifth of its demand.

The first US LNG export terminal is expected to start its operations later this year.