Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The EU power grid is prepared to absorb Baltic countries, disconnecting them from the Russian grid, three sources noted on Thursday.
Sources pointed out that the switch was prepared in case Russia cuts off the three EU member states from its grid, according to Reuters reporting.
As natural gas flows to some EU member states dropped, the bloc’s concern about dependence on Russian energy imports grew.
The concerns are exacerbated by the clash between Lithuania and Russia over freight traffic to the Russian exclave Kaliningrad.
While Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have long-term plans to switch to the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), which extends beyond the EU, they still depend on Russia for stability of power supply.
Unlike the Russian power grid, which is centrally run from Moscow, the ENTSO-E is decentralised as each grid operator maintains stability of its own system.
According to earlier plans, Baltic countries would disconnect from the Russian system in 2025, after energy grid projects supported by the bloc with 1.6 billion euro are implemented.
Ready to switch
Sources stressed that the three EU member states would already be able to maintain power grid stability, with one noting that infrastructure projects have not been completed, which could result in higher prices.
Last year, Lithuania successfully tested infrastructure to connect its grid with that of Poland, which is an ENTSO-E member.
Litgrid, the Lithuanian power grid operator, pointed out that the test showed that “in an emergency, the Baltic countries will receive help and be able to connect to the networks of continental Europe.”
The switch raises the question of Kaliningrad, which connects to the Russian grid through Baltic countries and would have to maintain grid stability independently.
Russia planned to test whether Kaliningrad could maintain stability independently later this week, but called off the test.
Commenting on energy concerns in the EU, Moscow noted earlier this month that it plans to fulfil its supply contracts.
Russian officials previously stressed that decline of gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was due to delayed equipment servicing, noting that German Siemens is repairing infrastructure equipment in Canada.