Lithuania is an obstacle to almost the entire range of joint energy projects of the Baltic states, says Juris Puce, former Latvia's Economy Ministry state secretary and now a prime ministerial candidate for the party For Latvia's Development.
© AFP/Scanpix

As an example, Puce, who spoke to the Neatkariga newspaper, mentioned the Polish-Baltic gas pipeline. "The European Union has stipulated guidelines for distribution of funds, and the scope of involvement for each member of the project. The reason why such important projects are stalled is because the Lithuanian government does not want to pay proper attention to the EU and Baltic States' gas pipeline project."

According to Puce, the Lithuanian government is fully focused on the construction of its own Klaipėda liquefied natural gas terminal. "The construction of Klaipėda terminal and its infrastructure will be funded by Lithuania without any additional EU funding, therefore, the Polish-Baltic connection was not a priority for Lithuania."

Only now, with Russia's aggression in Ukraine, has Lithuania decided to approve this project, Puce said.

"Poland already finalised its part of the project in the middle of 2013. Lithuania, on the other hand, is still delaying, although the Polish part was much bulkier. About three-fourths of the entire pipeline will be located in Poland. The construction process will require about two years. Before that, we must approve the project and finish evaluating the potential influence on the environment. Poland has already finished its part, while Lithuania has not. 2018 could be the optimum date when the first round of the Lithuanian-Polish gas pipeline project could be finalised. If Lithuania discontinues its stalling, the potential date could be 2019."

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