The prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have signed a joint declaration agreeing to disconnect from the Russian electricity grid by early 2025, in a move to strengthen their energy security and reduce dependence on Russia. The Baltic nations, all members of NATO and the EU, are currently part of the BRELL circuit, which includes countries like Russia and Belarus. However, they have expressed concerns about the potential threat and vulnerability posed by their dependency on the Moscow-controlled grid.
In 2018, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania agreed to join an alternative power grid known as ENTSO-E by late 2025 via a link with Poland, as a means of decoupling from the Russian grid. ENTSO-E, founded in 2008 by EU mandate, is a network that extends beyond the borders of the EU to include 35 countries. By becoming part of this network, the Baltic states aim to diversify their energy sources and reduce the risk of being cut off from the grid by Russia.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas emphasized the importance of working together to speed up the synchronization effort and manage risks. She stated, “We will desynchronize from the Russian (BRELL circuit) grid as soon as it is technically possible.” According to analyses by Baltic transmission system operators, the three states will have the technical capacity for the switch by early 2025. This means that synchronization could potentially be brought forward by approximately one year.
To ensure a smooth transition, Baltic and Polish transmission system operators will continue to strengthen their systems, mitigating the risks of outages and price hikes. The Baltic states have raised concerns about the possibility of Russia “weaponizing” its electricity supply and disconnecting them from the network before their planned exit. In response to these concerns, European grid operators have expressed readiness to bring the Baltic nations into ENTSO-E at short notice if they are cut off from the Russian grid.
By disconnecting from the Russian electricity grid and joining ENTSO-E, the Baltic states aim to enhance their energy security and reduce their dependence on Russia. This move is seen as a significant step towards diversifying their energy sources and strengthening their resilience in the face of potential disruptions. The joint declaration signed by the prime ministers underscores their commitment to achieving energy independence and ensuring a stable and reliable electricity supply for their countries.
In conclusion, the Baltic states are taking proactive measures to reduce their reliance on the Russian electricity grid by disconnecting from the BRELL circuit and joining the ENTSO-E network. By doing so, they aim to enhance their energy security and minimize the potential risks associated with dependency on Russia. This joint declaration signals their determination to achieve energy independence and strengthen their resilience in the face of potential disruptions.