President to discuss EU support for power grid synchronization with Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker
AFP / Scanpix

“At the bilateral meeting with the president of the European Commission, Dalia Grybauskaite will discuss matters of importance to Lithuania, i.e., electricity grid synchronization, the EU support for safe decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant and a united EU response to threats posed by the Astravyets nuclear power plant,” Grybauskaitė’s press office said in a press release.

The three Baltic nations aim to disconnect their grid from the post-Soviet energy system and synchronize it with the European electricity system within the next decade in an effort to be come less dependent on Russia.

However, the initiative has lately faced difficulties, as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia disagree on the way of connecting to the Western European networks. Lithuania suggests using the existing energy link with Poland, while Latvia and Estonia demand building a second line for what they say are security requirements. Estonia also said the Baltic states could join the Nordic system via Finland.

Amid failure to come up with a compromise, Lithuanian leaders recently warned neighbors that they would not wait for their decision and synchronize its power grid with Poland on bilateral grounds. Some observers say this could make the project far more expensive, as Brussels is more likely to finance regional projects.

Estonia, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, is hosting the EU summit on Thursday and Friday. Diplomats say that discussions in Tallinn focus on the Brexit negotiations with Britain, the French president’s proposals for reforming the bloc, the post-election situation in Germany and cyber security.

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