Europe must wean itself off Russian energy used as weapon – Lithuanian PM

  • 2022-06-03
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – As Europe pursues its green economy goals, it has to wean itself off Russian energy resources that are used as a weapon, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said on Friday. 

"Weaning ourselves off Russian resources, which are used as a weapon rather than a resource, is a very important goal at the moment, and we are well aware that this is not only about climate and environmental protection, but also about independence and protecting our economies," she told a conference on Making Green Finance a Reality in the Baltics.

 Lithuania has shown that this is possible with the right assessment of the situation and preparation, according to the prime minister. 

"As we have shown, to disconnect from Russian gas, you have to be ready for it, and preparation takes time," she said. "This means not only building and investing in infrastructure, but also assessing the situation properly." 

Lithuania's transition to a green economy is estimated to cost it around 14 billion euros over the next decade, of which almost 10 billion euros are expected to come from the state and the rest from private businesses. 

"Public finances will not be enough; the private sector has to be mobilized," the prime minister said. 

Speaking about the EU's ambition to become a climate-neutral economy in 2050, Simonyte said that the after-effects of the pandemic and Russia's war against Ukraine could hinder the achievement of these goals. 

"Dealing with these challenges requires a united approach and, of course, it is very difficult to remain vigilant, to keep the important things in mind and to not be tempted by the lure of simpler solutions," she told the conference.