Lithuania moving away from Gazprom

Aug. 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM
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VILNIUS, Lithuania, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Diversification of the gas market in Lithuania will eliminate the need for ties to the Russian energy sector by 2020, the Lithuanian energy minister said.

Poland and Lithuania are exploring ways to break the Russian grip on the energy sector by expanding their relationship with Europe and exploring alternative energy supply routes.

Ministers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland met in May with European energy officials to discuss integrating the Baltic electricity sector to the European energy market. Plans were also discussed for the development of a nuclear power plant in Lithuania, the Energy Ministry noted.

Lithuanian Energy Minister Arvydas Sekmokas said integration with Poland made it possible to eliminate the need for ties to Gazprom by 2020, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Polish gas company Gaz System and Lithuania's Lietuvos Dujos signed a memorandum of understanding recently to build the so-called Amber pipeline with the help of funds from the European Union.

Poland said the 300-mile pipeline could go online by 2015 carrying around 175 billion cubic feet each year between both Baltic nations.

Gazprom abandoned the Amber pipeline in favor of the Nord Stream gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea to Germany.

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