Russia alarmed by Baltic energy independence plans

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High-ranking Russian officials have told Forbes magazine of emerging concerns regarding Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia’s plans for increased energy independence from the former Soviet Union’s unified energy grids, Latvian Radio reported Thursday.

Contrary to prevailing public perceptions of their one-sided energy dependence upon Russia’s electricity markets, the Baltic states in fact fill a vitally important role within Russia’s own energy distribution system – both carrying electricity from Russia’s northern to its southern regions, in addition to to supplying the naval base and ethnic Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

According to estimates by Russian electricity distribution company FSK, Baltic energy independence efforts could cost Russia more than a billion euros, plus the required investments toward readjustment would not address the Kaliningrad supply issues.

The Baltic states have been stressing the need to reduce their dependence on Russian energy markets in light of its recent annexation of Crimea and current turmoil in relations with Ukraine.

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