VILNIUS – Europe has found itself on the verge of an energy transformation and the current energy crisis should be seen as an opportunity to shift away from Russian energy resources altogether, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said at the Baltic Sea Energy Security Summit in Copenhagen on Tuesday.
In his address to the leaders of the Baltic Sea region, the Lithuanian leader stressed that Europe was “on the verge of an energy transformation, with the Russian war in Ukraine severely affecting the energy market”, the presidential office said in a press release.
According to Nauseda, the current energy crisis in Europe should be seen as an opportunity to shift away from Russian energy resources altogether, to accelerate the transition to more secure and sustainable energy, to expand the use of renewable energy sources and to use less fossil fuels.
“For years, Russia has used energy as a tool of manipulation and blackmail, and now as a weapon in its war in Ukraine. The price of gas has increased 10-fold and electricity prices have reached all-time highs. The heaviest burden falls on the shoulders of ordinary citizens and businesses. We must take decisive action to prevent this,” the press release quoted the president as saying.
The West blames Russia, which unleashed the war against Ukraine in February, for rising gas and electricity prices, accusing Moscow of using energy as a weapon to discourage the West from supporting Kyiv.
According to Nauseda, even though Lithuania’s strategic decisions on energy enabled the country to cut off the imports of Russian energy resources this April, it is necessary to complete the project of synchronization of the Baltic electricity grids with continental Europe in the shortest possible time in order to achieve full energy independence and ensure energy security.
He called for accelerating the project and completing it ahead of schedule, adding that increasing domestic electricity production from renewable energy sources as soon as possible was also essential.