Lithuanian energy ministry still has a lot to do 'in European format' – president

  • 2022-09-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys has a wide range of questions to answer and "a lot to do in the European format", President Gitanas Nauseda said on Friday, commenting on the opposition's interpellation initiative against the minister.  

"Interpellation is good because you can ask very serious questions and demand detailed answers," Nauseda told reporters. "Yes, there is a lot to talk about, because the range of questions is very wide, given both what has happened and the prospects for the future."   

"A lot will depend on the financial component, which is the Finance Ministry's prerogative," the president said, apparently referring to the government's plans to cover part of households' electricity and gas bills, something that will be decided after next year's state budget has been drafted. 

"But Dainius Kreivys still has a lot to do in the European format, because it is being decided right now whether or not these provisions (...) will be favorable to Lithuania," he said, referring to the European Commission's regulation on electricity prices. 

However, the president said that he sees Kreivys' efforts to ensure that the EU principles are in line with Lithuania's interests. 

"We have motivated the minister to overcome the backlog that has developed over the past months, (...) and now I can see a sincere effort being made to ensure that the European documents and principles are also in the interests of Lithuania, as a country that currently generates very little electricity," he said. 

On Wednesday, the European Commission unveiled new proposals on how to urgently cut record-high electricity prices for consumers, including setting a price cap of 180 euros per megawatt-hour for generators producing electricity from renewable, waste, nuclear or hydro power resources.

Kreivys has said on more than one occasion that the proposal to redistribute "excess" profits made by producers that generate power using cheap resources and sell it at a high price to consumers is completely unacceptable for Lithuania which imports most of its electricity.

The EU's executive body suggested earlier this week that such electricity producers share, via bilateral agreements, their excess profits with countries that import more electricity than they produce. 

The parliamentary opposition said on Thursday that they had collected the necessary number of signatures to launch an interpellation procedure against Kreivys and would seek support from other MPs for the initiative.