Russia stops supplying electricity to Lithuania

Russia halted electricity supplies saying Lithuania “cannot afford to pay,” while Vilnius said it would source supplies from other European countries.

Litgrid, the operator of Lithuania’s electricity transmission system, announced today that Russia has stopped supplying electricity to the Baltic country. The Lithuanian Ministry of Energy also announced on May 20 that it would stop purchasing electricity from Russia.

“The purchase of electricity produced in Russia by Inter RAO (through its subsidiary Inter RAO Loiuva) will cease from May 22,” the ministry said in a statement.

High-voltage power lines near a hydroelectric power station in the city of Bratsk, Irkutsk region, Russia in 2021. Photo: Reuters.

High-voltage power lines near a hydroelectric power station in the city of Bratsk, Irkutsk region, Russia in 2021. Photo: Reuters.

Litgrid CEO Rokas Masiulis said that after the disruption in supplies from Russia, Lithuania plans to meet its electricity needs through local power plants and imports from other European countries, notably Switzerland, Sweden, Poland and Latvia. According to the company, imports from Russia account for 16% of Lithuania’s electricity consumption.

Inter RAO, the Moscow-based energy company and sole supplier of electricity from Russia to Lithuania, also announced on May 20 that it would stop supplying electricity to Lithuania.

“Inter RAO has received notification that its subsidiaries are suspending transactions due to the risk of not being able to pay utility bills to Russia,” the company said.

Earlier this month, Inter RAO’s Nordic branch also stopped supplying electricity to Finland.

Last month, Lithuania became the first EU country to phase out Russian gas imports after Moscow demanded that “unfriendly” countries pay for their gas purchases in rubles. Lithuania also stopped importing oil from Russia to get rid of its dependence on Russian energy.

Also in April, Lithuania announced the expulsion of the Russian ambassador and the closure of the Russian consulate general in the city of Klaipeda, and recalled the ambassador in Moscow to protest Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. Russia then closed the consulates of the three Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Huyen Le (Corresponding rt)