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Baltics to disconnect from Russian power grid

Emergency blackouts in 7 Ukrainian regions after Russian strikes
Source: Pixabay

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania indicated Thursday they plan to disconnect from the Russian-controlled power grid and link to the Western European system instead.

The prime ministers of the three EU and NATO member nations signed a joint declaration pledging to complete the switch by February 2025.

“The fact that the Baltic States still remain a part of the BRELL electricity system, managed from Russia, is a threat to the Baltic States’ energy security,” the three prime ministers said in the declaration.

The Baltic states decided to synchronise their power grids with the Continental European system in 2018, having secured funding from the European Union.

In a move intended to end their energy dependence on Russia that dates back to the Soviet era, the Baltics will access the EU power grid through Poland.

The three countries have agreed to complete their integration into the EU grid in early 2025, despite Lithuania’s efforts to cut itself off from the Russian system a year earlier.

“Although we think the electricity systems of the Baltic countries would basically be ready for synchronisation earlier than February 2025, united action in performing the remaining projects is important,” Lithuania’s Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said in a statement.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were occupied by the Soviet Union from WWII until 1991 and they inherited an energy infrastructure linked to Russia. The invasion of Ukraine has seen them step up efforts to cut their dependence upon Russian energy.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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