The Lithuanian President in Sweden – ‘Lets get connected!’

November 15, 2007 at 9:46 pm 2 comments

Adamkus with the King of Sweden Carl XVI GustafThe Lithuanian President paid an official visit to Sweden.  The visit lasted for two days.  It appears that the visit was an absolute success.  The President met with all heads of the Swedish state.  The Energy was the main topic of almost all meetings.   

The President met with King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf and they discussed energy and environmental problems. President Adamkus noted that the power bridge to Sweden was very important to Lithuania.  “After the closure of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant Lithuania will remain even more dependant on a single energy supplier and the use of environmentally unfriendly energy resources will increase,” said the Lithuanian President.

The President also attended the Lithuanian-Swedish business round-table discussion where he delivered a welcoming speech “Lithuanian-Swedish Economic Ties: Opportunities Lie Ahead” and invited more Swedish business to invest into Lithuania. The President of the Republic underlined that the Lithuanian-Swedish partnership would not be able to reach its fullest potential if either of the countries did not solve energy security issues. “I sincerely believe that our both countries can consolidate their partnership in energy, especially electricity. In doing so, not only would we strengthen bilateral and Baltic-Nordic economic ties, but we would also make our energy markets more competitive,” said the Head of State at the business forum.

The President met with Speaker of the Swedish Parliament Per Westerberg and the delegation of members of the Parliament, to speak about the energy issues again. On the second day of the visit to Sweden President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus participated in a round-table discussion on energy issues. “New energy projects are very important to Lithuania. If we do not eliminate energy islands, we will not be able to create a single European Union energy market,” said the Lithuanian President. “I am pleased to see successful cooperation with Sweden in finalizing the feasibility study on the power link between our countries.”

Adamkus with Swedish PM Fredrik ReinfeldtPresident Adamkus noted that the implementation of this commercial project would contribute to the creation of the Baltic Energy Ring. According to the Head of State, the power link will be of considerable value to Lithuania – it will ensure power supply after the closure of Ignalina nuclear power plant. 

At the opening ceremony, the Lithuanian President noted that with the fall of Communism some of the stereotypes created by the immense Soviet propaganda machine did not fade away. “A considerable part of Europe does not yet know the full story about what happened to peace and freedom loving nations across Central and Eastern Europe after the end of World War II. Today’s exhibition “War After War” fills, in part, the “gray areas” of history and increases understanding between our two nations,” said President Adamkus.

Swedish Minister of Education Jan Björklund, who participated at the opening of the exhibition, mentioned that Swedish school history programs would include not only a chapter on holocaust but also about crimes of Communist regime and resistance fights.

The President of the Republic Valdas Adamkus met with Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt.  This was the last meeting of all tip They discussed topical issues of the Baltic Sea region.Speaking about energy projects, the Lithuanian President noted that the electricity link with Sweden will be of key importance for ensuring reliable power supply after the closer of Ignalina nuclear plant and in case of power supply shortage.

“Earlier we were treating energy solely as an issue of our internal policy. Today, we feel the necessity to join the Baltic Sea region into a single electricity network, therefore, Electricity Bridge with Lithuania is of great significance to Sweden as well,” – said Prime Minister Reinfeldt.

“If we build the electricity bridge to Poland and implement electricity link project with Sweden, we will have done a considerable work not only for Lithuania but for the security and stability of the entire Baltic region and we will enhance the European Union energy solidarity,” underlined President Adamkus.

At the meeting, the President and Prime Minister discussed about problems which Lithuania would face after the decommissioning of Ignalina nuclear power plant as the use of environmentally unfriendly energy resources will increase.

Speaking about plans to built a gas pipeline from Russia to the Western Europe under the Baltic Sea, President Adamkus highlighted the risks of the project to the Baltic Sea ecology. According to the Head of State, all Baltic States need to aim for independent assessment of the environmental impact of the Northern gas pipeline.

The conversation also focused on prospects of consolidating the Baltic Sea region. Prime Minister Reinfeldt asked the Lithuanian President to pay attention to the Baltic Sea strategy proposed by Sweden where the EU should have a bigger role.

The bottom line of all trip was that Lithuania is trying hard to connect Lithuania to the Scandinavian Electricity market.  And it seems that this is going to happen even before the link with Poland will materialize.  It could be said that it is a question not if but when Lithuania is going to be united with the Scandinavian electricity grid.

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Energy, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Poland, Politics, Scandinavia, Sweden. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alexandra Prokopenko  |  November 16, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Recently there have been talks about renewing Ignalina after the closure of the old reactors, and building up a new powerful Ignalina-2, as a common project of four countries – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. This project could secure the Baltic region energy supply in future – Ignalina-2 is planned to get into operation after year 2015. Still, although, the final agreement between countries and amount of shares for each project member state is not defined.
    Depending on Sweden from point of electicity is far not a good idea – they are about to close their 10 remaining reactor by year 2010 (maybe a bit later), and so far they have enough problems on their own. The best way is to be self-sufficient, and for a countly like Lithuania having own nuclear reactor in operation is a vital need I think.

    Reply
  • 2. Ruslanas Iržikevičius  |  November 16, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    Dear Alexandra,

    Thank you for your interesting observation on the topic.

    You are absolutely right, the discussion is taking place in Lithuania regarding the old Ignalina closure at the moment. Even though Lithuania has not a very slim chance to keep the old plant some politicians are trying to exploit the topic since Lithuania is going to be in a trouble after 2009. The decommissioning of the Ignalina is written in the Accession Treaty. That is it, not much to say regarding this. To put it simply, Lithuania will have to have consent of all 26 EU countries in order to prolong the work of the plant. This is not realistic and everyone know this in Lithuania. The Swedish Parliament would vote ‘NO’ to that.

    The new plant could be built by 2015, but it is a very unlikely date for it to happen. Hence we have to think of alternative sources. As you know our entire electrical system is still integrated to the Ex Soviet Electrical grid. The Baltics are the ‘Energy island’ even though we have a EstLink. Connection to Sweden would allow Lithuania to ‘break out’ from the dependency on the Russian electricity.

    I am sure that we aware of the future problems of Sweden, however, Sweden is connected to the Nordic Grid. Furthermore, we will also have some electricity to sell, since we have additional recourses even without Ignalina. Hence, SwedLit cable will give us a concrete opportunity to connect to the West, since the power bridge plan with Poland became a little bit joke, to say the least.

    Regards,

    Reply

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