October 17, 2016

The Baltic States – An Energy Island or Energy Peninsula in the European Union?

ICDS Research Fellow Anna Bulakh spoke at the public discussion “The Baltic States – An Energy Island or Energy Peninsula in the European Union?” organized by the Latvian Institute of International Affaires in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on October 17, 2016 in Riga, Latvia. Speakers at the event included Andris Sprūds, Director of Latvian Institute of International Affairs; Elisabeth Bauer, Director of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Baltic/Nordic States.

Panellists: Anke Schmidt-Felzmann – researcher at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Anna Bulakh – research fellow at the International Centre for Defence and Security, Estonia, Greta Monika Tučkutė – Director of the Centre for Geopolitical Studies, Lithuania and Reinis Āboltiņš – independent energy expert, Latvia. The discussion tackled the energy dependency of the Nordic-Baltic region. Speakers tried to answer whether the Baltic States still an energy island or already an energy peninsula of the EU and how vulnerable are they to Russia in this respect.
Anna Bulakh presented insights of the energy security in Estonia from the perspective of gas and electricity market development. She stressed that BalticConnector, the first gas pipeline to connect Estonia and Finland, will significantly increase energy security in the eastern Baltic Sea region and is a breakthrough for the Nordic-Baltic region join the EU single energy market. Bulakh raised the upcoming challenges the region will face in the electricity market. Since the Nordic and Baltic countries coupled inti the common electricity market, the next step is the fusion of the Baltic electricity systems of Europe, which is clearly in the interest of security of supply and our energy security. Bulakh stressed that the desynchronization from the BRELL electricity ring with Belarus and Russia will bring new political and technical challenges for the Baltic states in near future.