Elering chief: Baltic states need a compromise on Belarus nuclear plant

Elering CEO Taavi Veskimägi.
Elering CEO Taavi Veskimägi. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Taavi Veskimägi, CEO of electricity grid distributor Elering, told ERR that by the end of 2025, the Baltic states are synchronizing their grids with continental Europe and therefore should stop dealing with third countries on the electricity market.

Veskimägi said: "Lithuania has adopted a law that when the Belarusian power plant starts production, all trading with third countries will be stopped, that is, on the border of Lithuania and Belarus."

Lithuania clearly opposes the development of a nuclear power plant in Astravyets, Belarus and with the Baltic states having plans to synchronize electricity grids with Continental Europe by 2025, the usage of Belarusian electricity is not necessary for the region. The period until then however is causing issues.

According to Veskimägi, the Baltic countries now commonly need to find a solution on how the transition to a synchronized grid should proceed.

He said: "The compromise that we have actually proposed and should essentially suit everyone is that once the nuclear power plant at Astravyets is opened, we will reduce electricity trading in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania by about a half of what it is today. We would also introduce a €7-8 network fee per MWh, and make it so in accordance with Lithuanian law."

At the same time, according to Veskimägi, there will be a problem between Latvia and Lithuanians because, according to Lithuanian law, electricity from third countries should also not reach the other Baltic states. In Latvia's assessment this is dangerous in terms of security.

Veskimägi added: "Our partners, especially ones from the Russian Federation are saying that if there is no trade, no connections are needed. And we certainly don't want to take the risk that someone would start removing lines before we are prepared to synchronize ours with continental Europe."

He added that Estonia is not prepared to lose their grid connection with Russia or Belarus currently.

Veskimägi noted that elections in Lithuania are coming up, and the subject of Astravyets power plant is a hot topic in internal politics.

President Kersti Kaljulaid is hosting Latvian President Egils Levits on the island of Saaremaa on Thursday. Lithuanian president Gitanas Nauseda was also due to attend, but has canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, the president's office said Thursday.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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