Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis: power grid synchronisation is critical for the region

Date

2018 06 04

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Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis is in Tallinn to discuss power links with Western Europe at the Regional Summit of the Heads of Government, namely Prime Ministers of Latvia, Estonia and the Polish Foreign Minister.

The Baltic-Polish meeting has largely focused on the tuning of the positions as the Baltic states intend to have a political agreement signed on synchronisation with Western Europe as early as this June.  Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis noted the relevance of the issue of energy security and all the ongoing and future efforts in this regard.

“Poland and Lithuania already have liquefied gas terminals, up and running electricity connections with Sweden, Poland and Finland, the Baltic States and Poland will be linked through a gas pipeline, but one strategically important project is still pending, thus we need to resolve it as soon as possible. It relates to the synchronisation of electricity connections between the Baltic States and Poland. Though our EU and NATO membership has lasted for 14 years, in the field of electricity we are still part of the old BRELL-RING”, said Saulius Skvernelis.

According to the Prime Minister, the project is important not only to Lithuania and Poland but also to the entire region. Hopes are for the agreement to be signed by all the four countries at the end of this month at the European Council in Brussels.

It is important symbolically, strategically and no less important financially, because we would increase our weight in negotiations with the European Commission”, said the Head of Government of Lithuania.

Monday morning, Saulius Skvernelis has also met with Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas to discuss the bilateral cooperation, and the Rail Baltica project. The Prime Minister has emphasised that Lithuania sees the Rail Baltica project as a priority due to its potential for economic and social integration of the region. Smooth bilateral cooperation is essential for its progress. Once the project is completed, the new infrastructure will become a significant part of the country’s strategic infrastructure necessary for ensuring national security. Saulius Skvernelis emphasized the need to ensure continuous and significant EU funding in the next Financial Perspective (post 2020) in order to complete the project in a timely manner.

A meeting with Corina Cretu, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, has also been scheduled for Monday focusing on the multiannual financial perspective and Lithuania’s negotiation lines. The Prime Minister will take part in the working lunch with Vice-President of the European Investment Bank Alexander Stubb and Vice-President of the European Commission Andrus Ansip. The Prime Minister will conclude the visit by his participation in the 9th Annual Forum of Baltic Sea Region Strategy.