Speaking at the fourth annual Traditional and Renewable Energy Forum on 13 May in Vilnius, Vice-Minister of Energy Aleksandras Spruogis said that the future of Lithuanian energy system integration to the West depends on Poland.
Traditional and Renewable Energy Forum. Photo by Maksim Mirošnikov

“Since joining the EU, one of the core strategic objectives of Lithuania was fully-fledged integration into the European electricity and gas markets. I am very glad to note that with our common efforts we are quickly approaching this destination,” said Spruogis.

According to Spruogis, the LNG terminal is a real game changer which has contributed to integration and has fully justified Lithuania’s expectations. For the first time in the last decade, gas prices for Lithuanian consumers are lower than in Latvia or Estonia.

“We can all be proud of these remarkable achievements. However, our job is not done yet as some major challenges need to be solved. The three Baltic states still remain part of electricity system influenced by Russia. This is not acceptable either politically, or technically. To completely remove dependency from Russia, synchronization with EU networks is a must for us.

“Poland is the only feasible gateway for our synchronization with the Continental European Network. Therefore, we very much count on support and cooperation of our strategic partner” said vice-minister.

EU needs to produce, not only consume

The organizer of the Energy Forum, Law Firm’s VARUL Managing Partner Robert Juodka, commented that currently the EU is dependent on imported energy more than ever.

“European Union is the biggest energy importer in the world. It imports 53 percent of energy for nearly 400 billion EUR per year.

“Naturally, the wholesale prices of electricity in Europe are 30 percent higher than in the USA, and the wholesale gas prices are higher by more than 100 percent,” outlined Juodka.

Adviser to the president of Latvia on European and economic affairs Andris Piebalgs agrees with Juodka. In his opinion, it is necessary to ensure the security of energy supplies in the EU, therefore diversification of suppliers is required.

Western information freedom not helping in fight with Russia

Speaking about energy security, Edward Lucas, senior vice-president at the Center For European Policy Analysis, encouraged not to focus on the problems in the Baltic region, but to look more globally, because Russia is doing exactly that.

According to Lucas, it is strange that Western countries, being much bigger both in economic and population terms, are fighting so hard with a smaller Russia. “Russia is using the energy card a lot less, conducting successful financial wars instead. West is losing the information war as well. We aren’t that good at propaganda as Russia is. We have the information freedom and it seems that everything should be well, but that’s not the case,” says Lucas.

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