Lithuania ready if Russia cuts it off from BRELL power grid – Nauseda

  • 2022-06-23
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania will be prepared if Moscow carries out its threats to disconnect it and the other Baltic countries from the common electricity system with Belarus and Russia (BRELL), President Gitanas Nauseda has said. 

A member of the Russian State Duma on Wednesday hinted at such a possibility as a retaliatory measure in response to Lithuania's decision to restrict the transit of some goods to Kaliningrad. 

"We are ready and we are prepared for unfriendly actions from Russia (in response), such as disconnection from the BRELL (power grid) system, or others," Nauseda told the Reuters news agency in an interview on Wednesday.

Moscow on Monday demanded that Lithuania lift the ban on the rail transit of some goods between mainland Russia and Kaliningrad, saying that the restrictions violate international agreements. 

Vilnius says it has not imposed any unilateral national restrictions and is simply adhering to EU-wide sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. 

BRELL is an agreement between the five countries' electricity transmission grid operators on technical conditions and rules for managing the systems to ensure the required power quality parameters and maintain a stable and reliable electricity supply.

The Baltic countries plan to synchronize their grids with the continental European system and decouple from the BRELL system by late 2025. 

Energy ministers from all three Baltic countries called on the EU to speed up the process after the Kremlin's forces invaded Ukraine in late February.  

Russia is planning to carry out an eight-hour isolated operation test of the Kaliningrad region's power system on Saturday.

Lithuania's power transmission system operator Litgrid has said the test will have no major impact on Lithuania's electricity supply, as it will coordinate its activities with operators in neighboring countries.

The Russian exclave has carried out three isolated operation tests so far: the first one took place in 2019 and lasted 72 hours and the two others were conducted in 2020 and 2021 and lasted eight hours each.