Kallas: Russia cancels planned Kaliningrad power isolation test

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform). September 22, 2022.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform). September 22, 2022. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Russia announced that it has canceled a power network isolation test planned for Kaliningrad this Saturday, but this isolation test may take place at some other time. People should be aware of the possible risk of a power outage and be prepared for such an event, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said in appearance on Raadio 2's "Hommik!" on Friday morning.

An isolation test was supposed to take place in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on Saturday, but Estonian authorities were notified Thursday that this scheduled test is nonetheless canceled. "But that doesn't mean that this won't take place some other day and at a worse time for us, be it in winter, on December 24 or at some other such time," Kallas said.

"We have been preparing for years for desynchronization, i.e. for disconnecting from the Russian frequency band, but should Russia do so suddenly, it's possible we could see power outages," the prime minister explained. She urged people to calmly think through how to get by should the power be out for a while.

"I've kept saying that this winter will be a difficult period that may see power outages and hard times," she continued. "If we look, the colder the weather gets, the greater the temptation may be for Russia to use such means."

The Estonian head of government confirmed that the state has long since preparing for such things, but you can never foresee everything.

She said that these current messages are being conveyed to ensure that people prepare themselves as well, and so that such situations wouldn't catch us by surprise.

According to Kallas, Russia is panicking, and, in a panic, may make previously unseen moves. Russian President Vladimir Putin has long since threatened with nuclear weapons.

"But I suppose there are other tools in their toolbox for exerting pressure on us to withdraw our support of Ukraine so that Russia can win the war,"  she added.

Elering: Nothing unusual in electricity system operation

One such move, for example, could be Russia deciding to disconnect Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from its power grid.

Transmission system operator (TSO) Elering, which is tasked with ensuring Estonia's security of supply, confirmed Friday morning that it, together with its Baltic counterparts, is prepared to synchronize the Baltic states with the Continental Europe synchronous grid.

"The risk that Russia might extraordinarily desynchronize Estonia and the Baltic countries from its electricity system has been greater than usual since February, when Russia attacked Ukraine," the company said. "Elering, like our neighboring countries' TSOs, have prepared and are prepared for this. There is nothing specific or unusual in the operation of the electricity system."

According to Elering CEO Taavi Veskimägi, the Baltic countries have been preparing for years already to depart from the Russian-Belarusian power grid.

"Should it happen, however, that Russia disconnects us from its electricity system sooner, we are already prepared to synchronize with the Continental European frequency so quickly that electricity consumers shouldn't even notice the change," Veskimägi added.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are scheduled to synchronize with the Continental Europe Synchronous Area (CESA) in 2025.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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