Minister and the Danish Ambassador Focused on Energy Issues in the Region

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2018 01 25

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On 24th of January Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas met with the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to Lithuania Mr Dan E. Frederiksen. During the meeting, the focus was put on the discussion of the two countries’ positions on the natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, which will run under the Baltic Sea to Russia, planned to be laid by Gazprom. 

“It is a geo-political project based on Russia’s desire to refuse gas transit through Ukraine rather than on economic logic. The project contradicts one of the key objectives of the European Union, namely, to diversify natural gas supply sources and strengthen energy security.  The implementation of the EU’s energy security goals must be based on specific measures. For this reason, Lithuania, just like Denmark, upholds the position to demand that Nord Stream 2 is subject to the provisions of the EU’s Third Energy Package without any exceptions,” Mr  Vaičiūnas said.

During the meeting, the Draft Amendment to the EU Gas Directive proposed by the European Commission (EC) was discussed. It stipulates that the existing and future gas pipeline interconnections with the third parties shall be subject to the provisions of the EU energy law. 

Mr Vaičiūnas noted that the amendments to the Directive shall ensure that no room is left for any legal uncertainties with regard to the application of the EU law in its entirety to the EU gas interconnectors with third countries.

Attention was also drawn to the fact that such organisations as Eurogas, which comprises national and international natural gas associations, propose not to hasten the process and in this way delay the implementation of the Amendment to the Directive.

“We cannot understand the proposals by Eurogas to postpone the discussion over the EU’s Gas Directive for the reason that this might negatively affect the security of supply. We have to make every endeavour to put the standards and principles of the Third Energy Package into practice. The EU law has to serve the EU’s objectives. This is the only way to ensure the security of supply and healthy level of competition,” the Minister of Energy said. 

It was noted that, in general, the emphasis should be put not on the negotiation over Nord Stream 2 but on the negotiation between the EC and Russia over the application of the EU law to the entire Russian gas supply infrastructure to the EU, not to the Nord Stream 2 alone.

Besides, the Minister presented to the Ambassador a review of the progress achieved in the last few years in decommissioning the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. The main message was that the decommissioning projects are run in a smooth and secure manner, and the funds are used in a transparent and efficient way. 

As Mr Vaičiūnas put it, Lithuania finds the support of Denmark in making sure that the EU’s funding for this project is continuous also after 2020 extremely important. 

During the meeting, the Minister introduced the updated National Energy Independence Strategy to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to Lithuania. Žygimantas Vaičiūnas stressed the ambitious objectives of Lithuania regarding the renewable energy sources and discussed the opportunities of mutual cooperation in this field. 

The two officials also discussed the visit of the Lithuanian representatives to Denmark this spring, during which they will meet with the representatives of the major Danish energy companies, research centres and agencies.