Lithuania and Latvia share concern over Astravyets NPP - PM Simonyte

  • 2021-06-18
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuania and Latvia share their political concern over the threat posed by the Belarus-based Astravyets nuclear power plant (NPP), as well as over power trade with third countries, but they will continue looking into the technical aspects of such trade, the prime ministers of the two countries say.

"One of the key things I could say following today's meeting is that the political assessment of this situation by the Lithuanian government and the Latvian government is absolutely the same: the Astravyets nuclear power plant is unsafe, it poses threat, and its electricity should not enter the European Union or the Baltic countries' markets, excluding the technical flow which is still needed yet," Simonyte told journalists during her visit to Latvia.

Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins underlined that his government had already decided not to trade in Belarusian electricity.

"We seem to share the opinion, at the political level, on trade in electricity with third countries, and issues of technical nature are being resolved," Karins told a join press conference.

He assured that Russia is the only third country Latvia trades in electricity with.

"Latvia has no possibility to trade in Belarusian electricity as, first of all, there's the physical obstacle, i.e., Latvia does not have an intermediate link with Belarus. And there's also a trade aspect as there cannot be such electricity on the market," Karins said. "If it is, this is third-country electricity, it can be from Russia with a corresponding electricity origin certificate."

Meanwhile, the Lithuanian prime minister said all technical electricity flow issues should be resolved by experts in the long-term.

"For me, as Lithuania's prime minister, it's important to make sure that, politically, we have no differences of attitudes towards this issue, and we agree that people from our transmission networks, infrastructure and energy ministries should meet soon and discuss those issues that have to do with all those flow issues and other issues, we can probably say technical issues, which sometimes also have political consequences," the Lithuanian prime minister said.

In her words, Lithuania wants agreement on a new trilateral methodology on power trade with third countries, acceptable for all three Baltic countries.

"I do hope our colleagues, with our encouragement, will be able to achieve this over rational period of time," she said.

Lithuanian Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys earlier mentioned a goal of agreeing with Latvia and Estonia on a new trilateral methodology on trade in electricity with Russia by the end of June.

He also said earlier that the existing Baltic trilateral methodology for trade in electricity with Russia, unilaterally approved by Tallinn and Riga, not only failed to bar market access for power from the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus, but was also pushing up electricity prices in Lithuania.

The Energy Ministry has said the methodology, applied by Latvia and Estonia unilaterally, may cost Lithuanian consumers an additional 100 million euros annually.