Minister Kreivys speaks about the need for faster synchronisation at an extraordinary meeting of the Energy Council

Date

2022 05 03

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In Brussels, Monday evening saw the conclusion of an extraordinary meeting of the Energy Council during which European Union (EU) energy ministers discussed the energy supply situation and the changes in the energy sector now that Russian energy giant Gazprom has cut gas supply to certain Member States. The ministers strongly condemned Gazprom’s unilateral action, and noted once again that everyone is obliged to fulfil their contractual obligations. They also reconfirmed their solidarity with Poland and Bulgaria, and their readiness to offer any necessary assistance.

The EU ministers discussed security of gas supply, and noted the importance of ensuring security of energy supply in all Member States at all times, as well as achieving optimal gas storage filling levels throughout the EU in preparation for winter by securing alternative gas supplies from reliable suppliers and constantly monitoring the readiness of energy systems.

“The security of gas supply to Lithuania is ensured by the existing liquefied natural gas terminal in Klaipėda, and this is the result of targeted and systematic investment in energy security over the last decade,” said Minister of Energy Dainius Kreivys at the meeting, adding, “However, the Baltic countries still operate in the Russian-controlled IPS/UPS system. “This is a major threat to our energy security, so we need to complete synchronisation with the continental European network as soon as possible.”

According to the minister, in order to complete synchronisation faster than planned, priority must be given to network security projects, with the remaining measures being implemented after synchronisation is complete.

Speaking about the gas market, the minister stressed that zero energy imports from Russia are an indisputable goal that must be achieved by the EU as a whole as soon as possible. “There is no room for compromise here – any payments for Russian energy imports in roubles would be an acknowledgement of Europe’s weakness and would be used to continue to fund the massacre of innocent people in Ukraine,” said the minister.

According to Mr Kreivys, in order to achieve zero energy imports from Russia, EU solidarity and unity are needed not only in words but also in actions, asserting, “Strong political will and concrete regional agreements are needed in order to fill regional natural gas storage facilities and fully prepare for next winter. The EU should also call for a rapid increase in infrastructure investment to ensure the ability to diversify energy imports.”

At the extraordinary meeting of the Energy Council, it was noted that the situation at hand reinforces the need to accelerate the planned phasing out of dependence on Russian gas, oil and coal imports as soon as possible. Considerable expectations are being put into the REPowerEU plan, which the EC plans to present in May, and which should set out concrete actions to gradually reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, including diversifying gas supplies, accelerating the use of renewable energy sources, and promoting further energy efficiency and energy savings. Member States and the EC will also continue to coordinate with international partners and reliable suppliers, and will continue work on a joint EU energy purchase platform.

In the wake of Gazprom cutting gas supplies to several Member States, all of the Member States have reaffirmed their determination to step up their preparedness and stand in solidarity and unity.