Lithuania finds the ways to maintain its energy security

Guest article written by Adomas Abromaitis, adomas333@inbox.lt

The last political events once again highlighted the political relevance of energy security issue for Lithuania. We must pay tribute to the government that struggle for reducing Lithuania’s dependence on Russian energy supplies and for receiving financial support from its EU and NATO partners by all possible means. It finds new ways to attract international attention to the problem.

The energy security issue for Lithuania has various aspects. One of them is insufficient funds for the dismantling work at Lithuania’s Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP). According to Audrius Kamienas, director of the Activity Planning and Finance Department at the INPP, another 900 million euros will be required starting in 2020. The government is continuing negotiations with EU in order to receive further financing of the project.

Deputy Energy Minister Rokas Baliukovas said that active negotiations on additional EU funding for the Ignalina plant closure would start in 2017 to 2018. Kamienas said that 941 million euros had been used for the INPP closure by the start of 2016, with another 745 million euros in EU and national budget funds planned to be used by 2020. Self-financing of the project is impossible for the country and even partial funding has become an unbearable burden for the national budget.

President Dalia Grybauskaite expects that Germany will support Lithuania in its efforts to raise concern about the safety of Belarus’ nuclear power plant under construction in Astravyets, some 50 kilometers from Vilnius. By the way, Belarus is the closest ally of Russia. Lithuanian government is not sure of the plant’s safety but can’t oppose the construction alone. So Lithuanian authorities follow a proven method by appealing to external help.

Another aspect of maintaining Lithuanian energy security the government considers preventing construction of the Russian-German pipeline project Nord Stream 2. Being dependant on Russian energy supplies for the long time Lithuanian authorities think that it poses “risks for energy security not only to the country but to the region of Central and Eastern Europe on the whole.” Earlier, on 17 March, Prime Ministers and leaders of 9 EU member states (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia) had sent a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, speaking out against Nord Stream 2. But the matter is the EU is not directly involved in the decision-making process around Nord Stream 2: it is the national permitting authorities of the countries whose waters the pipeline will cross that must grant approval for the project. In this case, these are the permitting authorities of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 20 and tried to convince inefficiency of the project. However, if the German companies are able to defend their commercial interests, then the project will have a future. Taking into account the German pragmatism, economic expediency will prevail over the political one. Probably Germany does not pay so much attention to Russia’s threat as the Baltic States do.

It should be said that Lithuanian authorities effectively use geopolitical situation in the region in order to reach national goals by attracting international attention and persuading its partners that Lithuanian problems are their problems either. One couldn’t judge Vilnius for it. Probably for the government of small country it is the simplest way. For example “threat from the West” made it possible for Lithuanian authorities to ask for NATO support in military and energy security spheres.

The seventh meeting of the Steering Committee of Vilnius-based NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence (NATO ENSEC COE) took place on 19-20 April in Chalon-sur-Saône, France.

In the meeting a lot of attention was dedicated to the protection of critical energy infrastructure and discussions on expansion of the Centre. NATO has assessed that the protection of critical energy infrastructure is one of the key elements for strengthening the Alliance’s resilience to hybrid threats. In this regard, Lithuania called on to increase funding for the centre’s activities in order to ensure necessary expertise in the field of the protection of critical energy infrastructure. Joining of new countries to the Centre (such as Germany and the US) will strengthen the capabilities of the structure and will made Lithuania more prominent in NATO and on the international arena.

So the event allowed receiving additional political and financial support from external sources, such as NATO.

Thus Lithuania today has at least two reliable ways of getting support in maintaining its energy security – from EU and NATO. It should be said that Vilnius uses such opportunities to reach national goals successfully.

Join the Hive!

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

COVID-19 tracing apps: MEPs stress the need to preserve citizens’ privacy

Coronavirus: Commission launches data sharing platform for researchers

Mental health in times of a pandemic: what can each individual do to lessen the burden?

Can we put a price on clean air? Yes, we can

EU security and defence industry prepares positions for ‘producers’ and ‘customers’

Here’s how the EU is doing on gender equality

UN urges protection of indigenous peoples’ rights during migration

UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge ‘more effective access’

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Italian elections: a long political limbo is ahead

The European Sting @ European Business Summit 2014 – the preview

The dangers of data: why the numbers never tell the full story

How climate change sparks innovation for fragile communities

Car rentals: EU action leads to clearer and more transparent pricing

How to build deforestation-free supply chains: lessons from Indonesia

Financing economic recovery, written by United Nations Under-Secretary-General

The Shifting Rhythms of Harmonious China: Ancient, Modern & Eternal

Alternative proteins will transform food, mitigate climate change and drive profits. Here’s how

Coronavirus: How worried should we be?

The online junk information grows, but so we shall

Somalia advancing towards ‘inclusive and peaceful future’ for women, deputy UN chief

We should look to nature for solutions to the global water crisis. Here’s why

Coronavirus: Commission boosts urgently needed research and innovation with additional €122 million

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa on 16-18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

Apple’s tax avoidance scheme remains as creative as their new iPhone

Polluted lungs: health in the center of environment discussion

A Sting Exclusive: “The Chinese economy is steady and moving in the right direction”, Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU underscores from Brussels

Mobile technology saving lives: changing healthcare with simple technology solutions

Social Committee slams the 28 EU leaders for false promises

Turning challenge into opportunity on the course to becoming the first climate-neutral continent

Main results of European Council of 18/10/2018

How artificial intelligence is redefining the role of manager

Local innovation, international impact: SMEs and the ITU Telecom World Awards

What makes a great CEO? The people they surround themselves with

Historian Niall Ferguson on what the pandemic means for the global economy, geopolitics – and parties

EU allocates over €22 million to help Palestinians in need

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

Mental Health of Health Professionals Facing COVID-19

How blockchain can cut the cost of new medicine

Trump asked Merkel to pay NATO arrears and cut down exports ignoring the EU

How digital can transform healthcare in Asia for millions of people

The Venezuelan exodus to Roraima and its repercussions

Criminals thrive on data abundance – here’s how we’ll catch them

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

UN food relief agency airlifts aid to DR Congo province hit by Ebola outbreak

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

Paris is building the world’s greenest business district. What can other cities learn from it?

EU trade agreements: delivering new opportunities in time of global economic uncertainties

Women outliving men ‘everywhere’, new UN health agency statistics report shows

What universities can learn about citizenship in the COVID-19 pandemic

Libya: UN Mission condemns deadly attack against police in country’s south-east

Human rights: Chad, Haiti and Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijan

How COVID-19 accelerated the shift towards TradeTech

The key takeaways of G7 Summit in Canada

AI strawberries and blockchain chicken: how digital agriculture could rescue global food security

This is the hidden connection between smuggling and climate change

The secret to Bangladesh’s economic success? The Sheikh Hasina factor

EU steps up its strategy for connecting Europe and Asia

‘Alarmingly high’ number of children malnourished worldwide: UNICEF report

Being blinded by labels stops social change. Art helps us see a better future

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s