Baltics needs to step up BRELL disconnection – adviser

  • 2022-03-10
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania and the other Baltic states needs to step up their disconnection from the electricity system shared with Belarus and Russia (BRELL), as Russia may use it as an instrument of influence by disconnecting the Baltic countries, Kestutis Budrys, chief national security adviser to Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, warns.

"We saw yesterday, when the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was disconnected, that disconnecting electricity can be one of the effects and that this threatens the security of the whole of Europe. We have to be ready in this context, first of all, we have to accelerate the disconnection from the BRELL network, which was planned for 2025, we have to finish it earlier," Budrys told the public radio LRT on Thursday.

In his words, Lithuania must be ready to connect to continental European power networks as soon as possible. 

"We need to do our homework. If, however, it happens so as early as tomorrow and it is decided to disconnect Lithuania from the BRELL supply as a response, as a way of impact, we would have the possibility to connect to the continental European grids in an extra case, to synchronize via Poland," Budrys said.

On Wednesday, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that Lithuania could be disconnected from the BRELL ring if Russia itself decides to use this measure.

The Baltic countries plan to synchronize their electricity grids with that of mainland Europe and disconnect from the post-Soviet BRELL ring by the end of 2025. 

However, the necessary tests, the installation of a 200 MW battery, other projects and the Harmony Link maritime link still need to be completed. The entire Lithuanian electricity system is scheduled to be temporarily disconnected from the post-Soviet IPS/UPS area for the first time in September when it will operate in the island mode. It is not yet clear when the joint Baltic test will take place.