Minister of Energy: we cannot look at energy security projects solely through the prism of national interests

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2017 11 09

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Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas is attending the Vilnius Energy Forum taking place on 7–8 November. Today, the minister presented a report on Lithuania’s achievements in energy and the work that lies ahead in the coming years; he also participated in a discussion on energy security.

At the forum, the minister spoke about how over the past five years, Lithuania managed to produce revolutionary changes in the field of energy: “Lithuania went from being an ‘energy island’ to an ‘energy bridge’. Power interconnections have been built with Sweden and Poland that supply electricity at competitive prices to the entire region. Lithuania constructed the Klaipėda Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal, which has created competition for the Gazprom monopoly and is now capable of supplying all of the Baltic States with gas. These are achievements that Lithuania can rightly be proud of.”

During the discussion, the minister noted that implementation of the project for synchronisation of the power system with the synchronous grid of Continental Europe remains vital in terms of energy security. For this project, as well as for another strategic energy security and competitiveness project – the creation of a regional natural gas market by 2020 – consensus with the other Baltic States is necessary.

“Energy security issues today are not confined to national borders and cannot be evaluated solely through the prism of national interests. These are regional challenges which require common resolution and joint decisions. We can be both safer and more competitive by first making decisions and implementing strategic energy projects as a region,” said the Minister of Energy. 

The Minister noted that the progress that the Baltic States have made today, both in implementing the synchronisation project and in creating a common regional gas market, is not sufficient.

“2018 is a decisive year that will show if we, as a region, are able to respond to emerging energy threats together and make joint decisions that would both guarantee energy security for the entire region and bring economic benefits for everyone,” said the Minister of Energy.

According to the minister, such joint efforts are particularly necessary when it comes to the unsafe construction of the Astravets NPP in Belarus, which is a threat not only to Lithuania, but to the entire region and the European Union as well.

Tomorrow, the Minister of Energy will introduce the participants of the Vilnius Energy Forum to the updated National Energy Independence Strategy, which has already been submitted to the Government for consideration, and will participate in a discussion about national strategic goals in the field of energy.