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Baltic States Ready If Russia Cuts Off Access To Power Grid

The three Baltic states, in coordination with the European Union, are ready to switch off from the Russian power grid in an emergency, three years before the planned switch, Reuters reported on Friday, quoting sources with knowledge of the matter.

EU member states Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia are still connected to the Russian power grid, but EU members—especially those Baltic states—have been wary of relying on Russia for any energy supplies since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The three countries are prepared for any scenario and can cope with power supply even if the link with Russia is cut off, Reuters’ sources said.

The EU has been working on synchronizing the Baltic States’ grid with the European energy network. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are now connected to the European electricity network through various electricity lines linking Poland and Lithuania, Lithuania and Sweden, and Estonia and Finland. However, the Baltic States’ electricity grid is still operated in a synchronous mode with the Russian and Belarusian interconnection systems, the EU said in April. Full synchronization of the Baltic States’ electricity networks with the Continental European Network should be completed by 2025.

Yet, according to Reuters’ sources, the linking with the EU network ENTSO-E could be enacted immediately in case of emergency and if necessary. 

In recent weeks, Russia-Lithuania relations have further soured after Lithuania, in line with the EU sanctions against Russia, stopped the transit of goods through its territory to Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea surrounded by Lithuania and Poland.  

Russia has also significantly cut natural gas supply via pipeline to Europe in recent weeks, including to its major customers, Germany and Italy. The move from Moscow sparked a new gas price surge in Europe and renewed concerns about how the continent would cope with gas and power supply this winter.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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