VILNIUS – The Baltic states can expect support of the European Union (EU) to their bid of synchronizing their electricity grids with Western Europe in this and the next multiannual budget, if the decision on the interconnections is made by mid-2018, says Arnoldas Pranckevicius, the head of the European Commission's (EC) mission in Lithuania.
"Synchronization of the electricity networks with continental Europe is a very important priority for the European Commission. EC President Jean-Claude Juncker was personally involved in the process – both in conversations with leaders of the Baltic states and Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite and with colleagues in the Commission," Pranckevicius said in an interview to BNS.
In his words, Monday's meeting of four ministers and officials of the European Commission in Brussels "was a historic breakthrough – they managed to achieve a principle agreement among the energy ministers of three Baltic states and Poland that the political decision would be in place until next June to be able to catch the 'financial train' to guarantee EU support for the project."
"Now we have work to do in connection to picking the most acceptable scenario for all four countries. We expect this is the final phase regarding the three scenarios. All three have to do with the Lithuania-Poland link, however, there is a question about one or two links, or an additional sea link," he added.
In Pranckevicius's words, no specific calculations have been made, however, there are no doubts that the EU would be able to finance the project from the so-called Connecting Europe Facility.
"If the decision to complete the project by 2025 is taken by June, as agreed, the project will be financed in both this and the next financial perspective. It is very important to reach the decision as soon as possible to be able to use the money available in this financial perspective. This is possible," said the official.