Inauguration of the gas pipeline connecting Poland and Latvia: “Response to Moscow’s energy blackmail”

“Today we consecrate ours independence energetic “: all in this Europe they wish they could say the same to the gas barrel, to exorcise the embarrassing dependence from Fly. But for the moment, this mantra of EU wishes has only been recited in a small Lithuanian village called Jauniuai and which has just 165 inhabitants, in the district of Sirvintos of the county of Vilnius. It happened on May 5, the eleventh Thursday of the war in Ukraineon the occasion of the official inauguration of the new GIPL pipeline (Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania), capable of transporting about two billion cubic meters of gas: “With this work we strengthen our resistance to political pressure”, he underlined Gitanas Nausedapresident of the Lithuania, catering to Polish, Latvian, Estonian and Finnish guests. The resilience of the Baltic countries, for example, is well known: they have stopped importing Russian gas since the beginning of last April, having reserves stored in underground deposits.

In truth, the decision to build the pipeline has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine, it is not a gesture linked to war contingencies, but an old strategic choice: the construction sites were opened in 2020. However, today more than ever , acquires a value of great significance, is one more step towards the energy independence of Lithuania and, to a lesser extent, of the Poland, as it ensures an alternative energy source that will be able to cover 10 per cent of its needs (currently, Warsaw uses 21 billion cubic meters of gas per year). But it is also a decisive message to Putin, as, in another sense, it is to the European allies: “It can be done”. The GIPL pipeline, cost 500 million euros (funded largely by the European Union) is long 508 kilometersof which 165 in Lithuania and 343 in Poland, will reach full capacity in October, will be able to be connected, thanks to the existing gas network, also in Latvia, Estonia And Finland.

Not surprisingly, Nauseda’s proud words echoed those of Andrzej Dudathe Polish president: “This interconnector pipeline it constitutes a response to the energy blackmail that Moscow exerts on Europe ”. Just not to forget, on April 27th there Gazprom has closed the gas taps to Poland and the Bulgaria, letting the threat of doing the same to other European customers glide over the partners: a clear attempt by Russia to divide the EU, but also a boomerang. The Polish government has already prepared a plan to “derussify” the economy and circumvent the blackmail of Moscow gas: the government has in fact allocated 636 million euros in the state company Gaz-System which builds and exploits not only the gas pipelines but also the regasification terminals of the port of Swinoujsciein the west of the country, whose capacity is now 7.5 billion cubic meters the year.

The Polish company received about 9 billion cubic meters from Russia (45 percent of national needs), and it is to make up for the stop it is building the Baltic Pipe gas pipelinewhere the Norwegian gas starting from November and reducing the energy handicap with Russia to a greater extent. As for Lithuania, the GIPL gas pipeline is the second independent source of energy supply from Moscow, since it has a terminal since 2014 regasifier. Russia could count on 41.8 percent of Lithuanian imports, 93 percent of Estonian ones and 100 percent of Latvian ones, according to Eurostat (data relating to 2020). Little, compared to the German and Italian volumes, but, as they say in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, we always start from small things to make them become big.

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Inauguration of the gas pipeline connecting Poland and Latvia: “Response to Moscow’s energy blackmail”

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