Baltic States – CIS, Energy, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia

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Latvian ministry: we're ready to continue discussions on power trade

BC, Riga , 27.11.2020.Print version
Latvia is open to further discussions on the Baltic states' power trade with third countries, its Ministry of Economics says. It says the new methodology agreed with Lithuania and Estonia is already working and is effective, adding that Russian certificates guarantee that electricity is not produced in Belarus, informed LETA/BNS.

The ministry reminded that the transmission system operators of all three Baltic states, in co-operation with the Baltic ministries responsible for energy and with the substantial support and participation of the European Commission, developed a common "compromise methodology" for electricity trade with third countries after the Astravyets NPP becomes operational.

"In this process, we have consistently followed all the decisions and principles that the Baltic states jointly agreed upon as a result of one and a half years of negotiations. But we are still ready to continue the discussions in a constructive manner," Liga Rozentale, a deputy director of the Latvian Ministry of Economics' Energy Market and Infrastructure Department, told. 

In her words, Latvia introduced power origin certificates or guarantees as soon as it started power trade with Russia. 

"The Russian authorities provide a certificate that confirms that the electricity imported from Russia is produced in Russia. This mechanism is also provisioned in our national legislation that was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers at the beginning of November," Rozentale said.

Latvia and Estonia are not holding negotiations on a new bilateral methodology, she said.

"We are already now applying a well-functioning methodology that was initially agreed by all three Baltic states. This allows us to maintain status quo in trade with third countries up to 2025. There are no additional discussions on other methodologies," Rozentale said.

Lithuania, which is not trading in Astravyets power, has not endorsed the trilateral methodology yet as the methodology has come under criticism from the country's market watchdog, the winner of the recent parliament election, the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, as well as their candidate for energy minister Dainius Kreivys.

They claim that physical electricity that enters Lithuania from Belarus is being traded in Latvia, therefore, Lithuanian consumers also pay for it.

Outgoing Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius has recently asked his Latvian counterpart to continue discussion on power trade.

Lithuania's National Energy Regulatory Council said earlier this month it would not approve the new methodology as it did not prevent electricity from Astravyets from entering the Lithuanian market. Moreover, it's pushing up power flow from Russia to the Baltic states.

To implement the so-called "anti-Astravyets" law, Lithuania immediately suspended power trade with Belarus after the latter launched its Astravyets nuclear power plant on November 3, although physical power flows continue to go via their joint line. Latvia started power trade with Russian on November 5.

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