The Neue Zürcher Zeitung told how Moscow can split the Baltic states by cleverly playing “energy political cards”.
Writes about this edition “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”.
The media drew attention to the fact that very soon a nuclear power plant will be launched in Belarus. BelNPP is located in close proximity to the borders of Lithuania, which caused a lot of controversy. Officially, the Lithuanian authorities opposed the launch of the nuclear power plant because it poses a threat to the security of the republic. However, there is another factor.
When Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia proclaimed their independence in 1991, everything was not so rosy in terms of energy. The countries continued to receive electricity from Russia through the so-called BRELL electric ring. In the next five years, the Baltic states planned to start synchronizing their networks with the European one, but cheap electricity from BelNPP is capable of disrupting the plans, the newspaper writes.
However, this is only the “tip of the iceberg”, because Lithuania intended to take advantage of the situation in order to derive personal benefit. When the republic was admitted to the European Union, it was given a condition: to stop its Ignalina nuclear power plant. The importance of the power plant can hardly be overestimated, because it ensured Lithuania’s energy independence. Nonetheless, Brussels got its way and in 2009 the second and last reactor was shut down. Against this background, Lithuania began to think about the construction of a new nuclear power plant. The republic enlisted the support of Estonia, Latvia, and Poland.
“At that moment Moscow entered the arena and struck two blows,” writes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
First of all, Russia agreed with Belarus on the construction of the BelNPP and even allocated a loan of $ 10 billion for this. At the same time, the Russian Federation announced the start of construction of the same station in the Kaliningrad region, again in close proximity to Lithuania.
Obviously, it made no sense to build a third nuclear power plant in the region, and since European bureaucracy and internal disputes impeded the Lithuanian project, it became clear that it was doomed.
“The split observed in the Baltic states gives a clear signal to the head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, that the Balts can be separated by a clever game of energy political cards,” the newspaper writes. – This also shows the old vulnerability of the Baltic states. Even large international projects that can strengthen their positions in a strategic sense, they can destroy, mired in endless disputes. “