Power play: Lithuania's quest for energy independence from Russia

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By Euronews
Power play: Lithuania's quest for energy independence from Russia

Western Europe’s dependence on Russia as an indispensable source of energy has long been a fraught issue for the EU, complicating already tense relations between Brussels and Moscow. Lithuania and its Baltic neighbours are the EU states must vulnerable to any disruption to supplies of gas in the event of an escalation in tensions.

We decided to have a second source of energy for electricity, for gas, and not to be 100 percent dependent on Russians. And after we had decided to do this, all punishment came on - our gas price was risen by 20% compared to our neighbours.

Lithuania is taking action to ensure its own energy security and diminish it reliance on Russia. It is building a network of pipelines to to bring gas from Norway, providing a vital alternative to Russian gas.

However this risks further aggravating EU/Russian relations. What’s at stake and what are the potential costs for both sides in this geopolitical power play? Hans van der Brelie travelled to Lithuania to find out.

Watch the video to see his report in full.

‘‘Gazprom should comply with EU competition rules’‘

To listen to the interview with Marius Juonys, expert on EU competition law, you can use this link. Juonys is based in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius and works for Lawin, a business law firm covering all three Baltic States.

‘‘The Russians tried to punish us’‘

The Lithuanian Energy Minister, Rokas Masiulis, explains why his country invested massively in new energy infrastructures. Euronews met him in the capital Vilnius, where Masiulis speaks out about what he sees as the abuse by Russia’s Gazprom of its dominant market position. He also talks about Lithuania’s new LNG terminal and a planned pipeline from Lithuania to Poland.