Lithuania to inform Latvia that electricity trade with Russia violates agreement

  • 2020-11-12
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - The Lithuanian government will inform Latvia in writing that Vilnius considers Riga's decision to start electricity trade with Russia a violation of an agreement between the three Baltic countries, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said on Thursday.  

"We've already informed (Latvia) orally and, of course, we'll inform them in writing, because until the new methodology has been approved, the 2018 methodology remains in force, and it doesn't provide for trading electricity with Russia, which the Latvians seem to have started doing," Linkevicius told the Ziniu Radijas radio station on Thursday. 

"These are objective facts and they have to be recorded," he added.  

Latvia launched electricity trade with Russia several days after Lithuania halted electricity trade with Belarus following the start-up of the Astravyets nuclear power plant.

Latvia says that it is applying a new trilateral methodology, agreed by the three Baltic transmission system operators, that allows electricity trade with Russia. 

Lithuania's National Energy Regulatory Council (VERT), which has not approved the new methodology yet, says that it is not valid. 

Under the 2018 methodology, there was no direct electricity trade between Latvia and Russia.

The new methodology allows importing a certain amount of electricity from Russia, provided that it has "a proof of origin that the imported electricity is originated from non-Belarusian producers".  

Linkevicius said that talks with Latvia on instruments to block the Astravyets nuclear power plant were ongoing. 

"We are constantly discussing this with Latvians. We disagree on some things, but agree on others. This a normal negotiating process; I think it's going to continue," he said.  

The minister's comment came a day after the Seimas Committee on European Affairs called on the government to step up pressure on Latvia over electricity trade with Russia amid suspicions that power generated by the Astravyets plant could be thus entering the Lithuanian market.