President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič in charge of Energy Union. With the approaching negotiations on the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), Lithuania’s energy related interests, threats posed by the Atsravyets nuclear power plant and other EU instruments aimed at ensuring energy security were discussed at the meeting.
According to the President, Lithuania has made substantial progress in enhancing energy security: it has constructed an LNG terminal and established links with Poland and Sweden. The synchronization of power grids with the network of continental Europe is the last step in discarding the soviet legacy in energy and in consolidating the energy independence of the Baltic countries. To achieve this aim, it is paramount to have EU support and full political agreement among regional states.
The President also underscored that safe and efficient decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP is in the interest of Lithuania as well as of the entire EU. This is a long-term project in need of uninterrupted and steady funding in the new MFF. The EU commitment to support Lithuania’s decommissioning efforts is enshrined in the Treaty of Accession.
The challenges related to the construction of an unsafe Atsravyets NPP in our neighborhood was in the focus of the meeting. With Belarus still refusing to have a transparent international assessment of nuclear safety and risks, it is not wise to rely on the good will of this country. It requires a united stance of all EU member states for the unsafely produced electricity not to reach EU consumers and for the Atsravyets NPP not to create additional obstacles for synchronizing the Baltic power grids with the continental network.
The President and the Vice-President of the Commission also discussed measures for enhancing energy security of the EU. According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, the geopolitical NordStream 2 pipeline project is yet another attempt to divide the EU member states and to tighten a new Russian-gas loop on Europe’s neck. The EU has an obligation to ensure that all energy projects fully comply with EU legislation, the aims of the Energy Union and the principles of fair competition.
The President also underscored that real solutions rather than symbolic decisions were needed in fighting Gazprom’s non-transparent monopoly in the European gas market. The EU has to eliminate gas price differences based on geopolitical reasons, while the obligations of Gazprom to its customers must cover indemnity for damage due to opaque trade.
Press Service of the President