Litgrid is reducing the maximum electricity import capacity from 1,250 megawatts (MW) to 400 MW as of September 15, Interfax reported, citing information that Litgrid had sent to the operators of the so-called BRELL energy grid, which includes Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.
Due to the reduced transmission capacity, Lithuania will now be significantly cutting commercial electricity imports from Belarus and Russia via the grid from Soviet times.
In June 2018, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia agreed with Poland to synchronize the Baltic States’ electricity grid with the continental European network by 2025.
The European Commission said in 2018:
- Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have always considered their dependence on Moscow as a threat, and their concerns have increased since the crisis in Ukraine
- However, cutting this «umbilical cord» has been an uphill struggle
The U.S., several European countries incl. Poland and the Baltic states, have expressed concern about Russia using gas sales and its gas monopoly Gazprom as a political tool, seeing Nord Stream 2 as further undermining Europe’s energy security by giving Gazprom another pipeline to ship its gas to European markets.
Most recently, despite a strong rebound in European gas demand, Gazprom didn’t book additional entry capacity to Europe via Ukraine - a move that Ukraine’s gas transmission system operator described last week as «blackmail».