Baltic energy security issues at the centre of US attention

Date

2021 06 18

Rating
0
Untitled.png

“Strengthening energy sector cybersecurity preparedness remains a national security priority for all countries,” said Vice-Minister of Energy Albinas Zananavičius at the second meeting of the transatlantic high-level working group that took place on 15-17 June in Washington, DC (USA).

According to Mr Zananavičius, the need to focus efforts on strengthening competencies in this area is confirmed by the still frequent cases of attacks by hostile countries against national energy infrastructure.

This working group for strengthening cooperation between the United States and European countries in the field of energy cybersecurity was established during the second meeting of the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy Cooperation (P-TEC) that was held in Vilnius in 2019. The working group is chaired by Lithuania and the United States, and other member nations – Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Bulgaria and Croatia – participate in its activities.

“Cyber-attacks on energy infrastructure are a cross-border threat. They pose equally serious concern about the security of our energy infrastructure on both sides of the Atlantic. Therefore, we must work together by sharing both good practices and lessons learned in this area,” said Mr Zananavičius, inviting the countries participating in the working group to continue the work started. One example of a cyber-threat is the attack on a top US fuel supplier a month ago.

Progress in implementing the working group’s action plan was also discussed during the meeting. The countries mutually agreed that the Cyber Strike Workshop held by experts from the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory this March-April was very useful in strengthening the cyber security competencies of experts working in the energy sector.

This is one of the first examples of successful collaboration in this format. The members of the working group agreed to continue their cooperation in implementing the objectives set out in the action plan. For example, one of the most important goals for Lithuania and the other Baltic States is to strengthen cyber security capabilities for their synchronisation with the continental European network.

During the visit, Mr Zananavičius also met with representatives of the US Administration, Department of Energy, State Department and Congress, as well as with energy companies operating in the field of liquefied natural gas and green energy technologies such as hydrogen.

During the meetings, the Vice-Minister of Energy presented the energy security situation in the region and Lithuania’s goals in strengthening energy independence and security. US representatives reaffirmed their support for Lithuania in pursuing greater energy independence and energy security.

The US will continue to support energy security issues in Europe that require special attention, including natural gas diversification and Nord Stream 2, as well as nuclear safety in the EU neighbourhood.