PM denies information about Latvia’s intention to buy electricity from Belarus NPP

The Latvian gomvernment has not taken a decision to purchase electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravets, reports with reference to Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš.

On August 15, Lihuanian President Gitanas Nausėda expressed concern over Latvia’s political decision to buy electricity that would be generated by Astravets NPP which is being constructed close to the Lithuanian border, but called it ‘expectable’. According to Kariņš, it is nothing but misunderstanding.

“I fear that he [Nauseda] may not be fully aware of what is going on. I can repeat that the Latvian government has not made the decision to buy electricity in Belarus,” he said.

As reported earlier, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Economy Ministry’s offer to transfer of electricity trade to the Latvian border. The Latvian authorities were reportedly set to mitigate the risk of a possible reduction of the flow of electricity or negative fluctuations in tariffs as Lithuania intended to stop electricity trading with Belarus. At the moment, electricity trading between the Baltic States and third countries is carried out only through the Belarusian-Lithuanian border.

Latvia may skirt Lithuania and buy Belarus NPP electricity – media

When reached by Belsat TV, Lithuanian political analyst Marius Laurinavicius said that the decision was the work of Latvian oligarchs who are under the sway of Moscow. Moreover, in exchange for purchasing electricity, Belarusian leader might have promised a number economic benefits to Latvia, he assumed.

When negotiating, Minsk has repeatedly linked the Belarusian-Latvian trade turnover to the neighbour’s readiness to purchase electricity from Astravets. But the history of Lithuania-Belarus economic relations gives a glimpse of Lukashenka’s inability of being a reliable partner, and Latvians should take it into account, the expert believes.

Earlier, Lithuania refused to buy electricity from the Astravets nuclear power plant, because it considers the station a threat to its national security. The corresponding statement was adopted in 2017 by the Seimas of Lithuania.