Baltic countries ready to cut last ties to Soviet past

The influence Russia had on its western neighbours at least in theory via the electricity network will end as soon as the Baltic states connect to the European network.  [Shutterstock/Kev Gregory]

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, all currently part of the Russian electricity network since gaining independence in the early 90s, are set to join the Continental Europe electricity network in early 2026, meaning they will soon be leaving the Russian one.

The influence Russia had on its western neighbours at least in theory via the electricity network will end as soon as the Baltic states connect to the European network. 

However, the decision was only reached through compromise since Estonia wished to join a Nordic network. The operation also comes at the price of €1.65 billion, which is being financed by The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport, a funding instrument to realise European transport infrastructure policy.

“When we cut the power lines across the river Narva, we also symbolically cut our last ties to our Soviet past,” CEO of Estonian electric power transmission system operator Elering, Taavi Veskimägi, told Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat in an interview. 

Next on the list for the Baltic states is the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources.

Late last year, countries around the Baltic Sea signed a Baltic Offshore Grid Initiative with the aim of strengthening common wind power projects. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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