News2019.09.12 11:02

Lithuanian parliament considers additional safeguards against Belarusian electricity

BNS 2019.09.12 11:02

As Latvia plans to open electricity trade with Russia and Belarus, Lithuania considers additional safeguards to prevent power from Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant from reaching its grid.

Lithuania has outlawed electricity imports from Belarus once it launches the plant situated dangerously close to the Lithuanian capital, but it may be unable to enforce the ban unilaterally.

Virgilijus Poderys, the chair of the Lithuanian parliamentary Commission for Energy and Sustainable Development, is proposing to the parliament and the Energy Ministry to carry out a legal analysis of the existing law.

“If the Russian electricity portfolio enters trade Helsinki-Tallinn-Riga, and we are clearly aware it contains Belarusian electricity, does our law allow our exchange to trade with these exchanges? As under the Nord Pool Spot rules, we get electricity automatically anonymously. So we need a legal analysis to not to shoot ourselves in the foot… or the head,” he said during the commission sitting on Wednesday.

Presidential advisor Tomas Lukoševičius has said that the president will put forward amendments with additional restrictions on electricity imports from third countries.

Vice Minister of Energy Egidijus Purlys also spoke of additional safeguards, including indirect ones, to prevent imports of power from countries with unsafe power plants.

However, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Albinas Zananavičius says it's “too early” to talk about diplomatic actions regarding power imports.

The Latvian government announced in August that once Lithuanian stopped power imports from Belarus, Latvia would open electricity trade across its border.

Latvia's power transmission system operator AST told BNS that the move would be aimed at ensuring trade possibilities between the Baltic states and Russia.

But Riga has no plans to trade with third countries once the Baltic states synchronize their power grids with continental Europe.

Read more: Belarus’ nuclear ambitions cut into Baltic unity as old scars reopen between Vilnius and Riga

LRT has been certified according to the Journalism Trust Initiative Programme