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 Milestone

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

‘Starvation’ now a reality for displaced Syrians stranded in camp near Jordanian border

DR Congo: Restore internet services as ‘a matter of urgency’, urges UN expert

COVID-19 has disrupted cybersecurity, too – here’s how businesses can decrease their risk

MEPs cap prices of calls within EU and approve emergency alert system

EU Council: The US airlines may freely pollute the European air

iSting: a reader’s thoughts on the UN Environment Assembly 2017

Berlin and Paris pursue the financial fragmentation of Eurozone

Fisheries: Commission proposes measures to conserve stocks of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic

Safe drinking water, sanitation, are ‘basic human rights’: new UN Water Development report

France breaks budget promises once again and the EU’s finance offices are shaking

“We need to use the momentum globally to ensure that corporations pay their fare share of taxation”, EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis outlines from the World Economic Forum 2017.

Central Africa Republic: Violence drives thousands of refugees into neighbouring DR Congo, says UN agency

The Mental Health Hero in You

How civil society can adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Mother of all mergers between Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram: EU Data Privacy restrictions against Facebook’s imperialistic plans

UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

UN court increases sentence of former Bosnian-Serb leader to life imprisonment

European Commission calls on national political parties to join efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Europe

The importance of exchanges for the medical students of the world

Malaria: Focus on pregnant women and children, stresses UN health agency report

EU Commission challenges Berlin by proposing breakthrough legislation on banks

Hungary’s laws on helping vulnerable foreigners are ‘blatantly xenophobic’: UN rights chief

This South Korean city once had the biggest coronavirus outbreak outside of China. Now it’s reported zero new cases

How each country’s share of global CO2 emissions changes over time

Maintaining mental health is as important as avoiding COVID-19

Worldwide terror attacks have fallen for the third year in a row

FROM THE FIELD: ‘A piece of me’ was taken

Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ Guterres warns, urging ‘swift action’

JADE @ European Business Summit 2014: Youth Unemployment – a drive to Entrepreneurship

Why exporters need to mind the trade finance gap

North-east Nigeria displacement crisis continues amid ‘increased sophistication’ of attackers, warns UN

Sweden is fighting loneliness by housing older and younger generations together

Reform of road use charges to spur cleaner transport and ensure fairness

GSMA outlines new developments for Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018

Multilateralism must weather ‘challenges of today and tomorrow’ Guterres tells Paris Peace Forum

‘Good enough’ global cooperation is key to our survival

We must learn and change after Haiti sexual abuse scandal -Oxfam chief

Repression, use of force risk worsening Bolivia crisis: UN human rights chief

EU to gain the most from the agreement with Iran

Reinforcing EU border security: Visa-exempt travelers will be pre-screened

Amazon fires: Health Effects, Near and Far

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

Five-year low inflation for Eurozone and now Mario has to finally wake up the Germans

Tech must embrace teamwork to transform the world

Global health challenges require global medical students

If you live in a big city you already smoke every day

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

Do not confuse food charity with ‘right to food’, UN expert tells Italians, labelling food system exploitative

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

A Sting Exclusive: “Europe needs decisive progress for stronger cybersecurity”, EU Commissioner Gabriel highlights from Brussels

Could Europe become the first climate-neutral continent?

Coronavirus: additional ventilators dispatched to Czechia via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

Portugal can use its economic recovery to build up resilience

UN health experts warn ‘dramatic resurgence’ of measles continues to threaten the European region

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

UN chief saddened at news of death of former US President George H.W. Bush

Are e-cigarettes as safe as they claim to be?

Tax Inspectors Without Borders making significant progress toward strengthening developing countries’ ability to effectively tax multinational enterprises

Environmentalists have removed nearly 40 tonnes of trash from the Pacific

More Stings?

Advertising

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