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Lithuania has offered its assistance to Ukraine in its efforts to achieve energy independence

“Studying the Lithuanian experience of promoting renewable energy sources, building an LNG terminal, and importing electricity should be of interest to Ukraine”

Lithuania will share with Ukraine its experience of diversifying energy sources, President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite stated during a meeting with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. “Lithuania has become fully independent, in particular from Gazprom, and today we can get both gas and electricity from other sources. We want to share our experience with you,” she noted. According to her, it was no accident that the Lithuanian delegation included the country’s minister of energy, whose objective is to assist Ukraine as it is strengthening its position in the European institutions and trying to achieve energy independence.

No specifics of plans for such assistance have been disclosed by either party. What are we talking about, then? The Day asked co-chairman of the Energy Strategy Foundation Dmytro Marunych to answer this question:

“We can definitely benefit from learning more about Lithuania’s energy experience. Firstly, increasing the share of renewable energy in the overall energy consumption structure looks promising. Lithuania has bet on processing wood waste. For example, they talked about partial shift of a unit of a major thermal power plant to waste combustion. Ukraine can use this approach in some localities of the Polissia and the Carpathians, where timber industry is on the rise. However, nobody would carry wood to Kherson, because it is uneconomical. Secondly, Lithuania is completing its LNG regasification terminal. It is the first in the region, and it has allowed the Lithuanians to reduce their purchases of energy from Gazprom, but gas has grown at least 10 percent more expensive. Diversification will come at a cost. For us, it may also be useful in terms of documentation and construction, as we had an LNG terminal project discussed before. However, the most important issue which we need to resolve for an LNG terminal to be built in Ukraine in the first place is achieving the Turks’ cooperation on LNG tankers’ unmolested passage through the Bosporus. Will Lithuania be able to assist us on that issue? I think not. Thirdly, the electricity import experience is of interest as well. At the moment, Lithuania is the largest buyer of electricity in the EU, importing 70 percent of its total consumption. On the one hand, the lion’s share of it comes from the Russian Federation, because Lithuania closed its nuclear power plant yielding to the EU’s pressure. We need to give a good thought to this aspect of the Lithuanian experience, and decide whether to abandon nuclear energy, or to the contrary, further develop it. On the other hand, being dependent on Russian imports, the Lithuanian government is preparing a project to lay a cable under the Baltic Sea, allowing the nation to buy electricity from Sweden and Norway.”

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