Lithuania will become bridge for Astravyets electricity – ex-minister

  • 2020-06-02
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – As the Lithuanian government is set to consider the Baltic states' agreement on power trade with Belarus and other third countries, ex-Lithuanian Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas says this way Lithuania is stepping back from its prior plans and is in fact becoming a bridge for electricity from the Astravyets nuclear power plant into the EU market.

Once the Astravyets nuclear facility in Belarus is launched, Lithuania will ban power trade with this country but that doesn’t mean that technically power from this nuclear facility will not enter Lithuania via Latvia, and then into the common EU market and then back to Lithuania.

"There's zero commercial flow capacity, i.e., for the purchase of power, but the technical flow will go through, and the Energy Ministry points that out in the declaration. So that power flow brings power into the EU market and then all EU participants can buy that power in the market," the former minister told BNS.

The situation would have been different, had the three Baltic states made a joint decision not to buy electricity from Astravyets, Sekmokas says.

"Then Latvia, Estonia, if there were certificates that that electricity cme from Belarus, so that power in fact would not be sold on the market. Money flows would not go to Belarus," he said.

In his words, the existing so-called "anti-Astravyets law" cannot ensure that Belarusian electricity would not enter the Baltic market as it bans Lithuania from buying Belarusian electricity but does not say whether that electricity would be bought on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border or from Latvia.

The Lithuanian government is set on Wednesday to consider the Energy Ministry says ministers will on Wednesday discusses a joint Baltic agreement on trading in electricity from third countries by 2025 when the Baltic states will be synchronized with the European networks.

Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas says the agreement would let Lithuania implement the law on banning power from Belarus from entering Lithuania.