The Prime Minister of Estonia has said that the Baltic states will decouple themselves from the Russian power grid in 2025.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have relied on Russia’s power grid since splitting from the Soviet Union in 1991. They, alongside Belarus and Russia itself, make up the BRELL (Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) ring.

The three countries signed a deal aided by Poland and the European Commission in 2018 to receive €1.6bn ($1.61bn) in European funding for power grid infrastructure upgrades. A caveat of the deal was that the Baltic states would have to decouple from the Russian grid by 2025.

Lithuania had been lobbying for the other two states to split off from the Russian grid by the beginning of 2024. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, however, told Reuters that Estonia will suffer the most from an earlier decoupling.

“I understand that Lithuania wants to have it faster, but the question is that… Estonia would pay the highest price for this in terms of the (cost) but also in terms of risks of blackouts,” said Kallas at the 2023 Vilnius Nato summit.

In June 2022, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda stated: “Getting connected to the European electricity grid as soon as possible would boost the energy security of the Baltic States and the EU as a whole.” Nausėda added that the countries cannot allow Russia room to use the BRELL ring as a political tool.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Since an earlier transition would cost Estonia, Kallas said that, as a compromise, the country would move the decoupling date to the beginning of 2025.

On Lithuanian radio, Rokas Masiulis, CEO of Lithuania’s grid operator Litgrid, responded to Kallas, saying: “We are dependent on Estonia, so if they don’t change their mind, sadly, it will happen according to their timetable (in early 2025).”

All three Baltic countries must divest from Russian grid reliance together, and while Litgrid will continue to lobby for an earlier decoupling, Lithuania and Latvia must abide by Estonia’s timeline.

Masiulis reasoned that the states decoupling from the Russian grid at the earliest opportunity was the right thing to do in order to oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He also added that he doesn’t “think it is the right choice to keep cooperating with the aggressor just because this saves a few cents”.

Kallas stated that the three Baltic states will declare their formal application to decouple from the BRELL ring in August 2024.