May 13, 2017

Desynch or Sink: A Political Analysis of Baltic Electricity Desynchronization

The electricity grids of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are still synchronised with Russia and Belarus in the framework of the so-called BRELL agreement.

However, the Baltic states have clearly stated their intent to terminate this agreement and synchronise their grids with those of Europe. While representing a significant milestone both in reducing exposure to Russia‘s strategy of coercion and further integrating the Baltic states into Europe, this “BRELLxit“ process might also cause some risks – ranging from possible Moscow‘s efforts to derail it to the exploitation of the Baltic states‘ de-synchronisation to justify various forms of pressure or even aggression.

This analysis, conducted in co-operation with Yuri Tsarik (Belarus), focuses on the strategic rationale, benefits and risks associated with the BRELLxit process. This analysis is part of a larger ICDS-led study that is supported by Elering – Estonia’s transmission system operator (TSO) – on geopolitical and security aspects of synchronising the electricity grids of the Baltic states with European systems. The final report of the study will be published in early autumn.

Download: Desynch or Sink: A Political Analysis of Baltic Electricity Desynchronization (PDF)