Baltic States – CIS, Belarus, Energy, Energy Market, Lithuania, Russia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 21.05.2019, 20:35

Russia, Belarus to make efforts to sell nuclear power to Baltics - Lithuanian minister

BC, Vilnius, 16.04.2019.Print version
As Lithuania is taking steps to block electricity imports from the Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus, the country's Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas is convinced that Russia and Belarus will make special efforts to circumvent these barriers to export the plant's electricity to the Baltic countries, informed LETA/BNS.

"We have a law that bans purchases from the moment the Astravyets nuclear power plant is launched, if it is launched. Under the current regulatory regime, the Baltic countries may purchase electricity from Belarus only via Lithuania. That are no legal and regulatory instruments on the Estonian and Latvian borders to make that trade possible," Vaiciunas said on Ziniu Radijas on Tuesday.


However, the regime may be changed, the minister said. 


"These things may change and I've no doubt that huge, desperate efforts will be made in search of possibilities for electricity to get access through Latvia and Estonia. Naturally, this will be done, but we'll see what decisions will be made," he said. 


Latvia's Economy Ministry told earlier that all three Baltic states can technically import power from third countries, including Belarus and Russia, but Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia's trade agreements allow trading with third countries only via Lithuania.


"Currently, after cross-border electricity transmission links were built in the Baltic states, and the Baltic states joined the Nord Pool energy exchange market, the transmission system operators of the Baltic states in 2013 made an agreement to arrange their electricity trade flows with third countries through the borders of Lithuania-Belarus and Lithuania-Russia to ensure as effective functioning of the market as possible," the Latvian ministry said.


According to Vaiciunas, Belarus risks losing large sums of money after putting its first nuclear power plant on stream.


It was reported on Monday that Belarus has pushed back the date of the launch of the Astravyets plant's first reactor until next fall. Minsk said earlier the first reactor would be switched on in May or June 2019. 


Back in June 2017, the Lithuanian parliament passed a law declaring the Astravyets plant a threat to national security, environment and public health. The government later approved an action plan for blocking electricity imports from the plant.






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