Lithuanian energy minister to invite Latvia to continue talks on electricity trade with Russia

  • 2021-01-13
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuania’s energy minister will soon invite his Latvian counterpart to continue talks on a trilateral methodology of electricity trade with Russia as Lithuania seeks to completely bar market access for electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant (NPP) in Astravyets.

The issue of the methodology would also be put forward at February meetings of the Baltic Council of Ministers currently presided over by Lithuania, Dainius Kreivys said.

“Our grid operator, Litgrid, has proposed a new [methodology] and we will ask for Latvia’s and Estonia’s opinion about that methodology. Also, my letter to Latvia’s minister inviting him to cooperate in working out a new trilateral methodology will be issued this week,” he told the reporters after the government’s meeting on Wednesday.

The measures taken until now had failed to successfully bar market access for electricity from the Astravyets nuclear facility, the minister said.

“It is very symbolic that the first unit of the Astravyets nuclear power plant has reached full operational capacity today, on January 13, and, unfortunately, I have to admit that the measures taken by Lithuania until now do not bar access to our country’s market for that electricity from Belarus,” Kreivys said.

Belarusian Energy Ministry reported on Wednesday that the first unit of the Astravyets nuclear power plant had reached full operational capacity late on January 12.

Last November, the Lithuanian National Energy Regulatory Council (VERT) did not endorse the Baltic countries' methodology for electricity trade with Russia following the launch of the Astravyets plant, saying that it failed to safeguard Lithuania's interests. 

However, Estonia and Latvia are applying the methodology and the latter country started electrify trade with Russia.

Lithuania continues to apply a 2018 methodology that does not provide for Estonia and Latvia directly importing electricity from Russia.