European Union calls on Poland and Baltic countries to speed up energy integration

Maros Sefcovic, vice-president of the European Commission, said in Latvia on Friday that by June this year, Poland and the Baltic states should jointly outline how they will integrate their electrical grids with the rest of the European Union.

The plan will be incorporated into a general European strategy, designed to secure energy supplies across the EU given the worldwide lack of security, and to lessen the bloc's vulnerability to potential crises, the AFP news agency said.

Sefcovic, whose main responsibility at the EC is the energy union, emphasised that the EU must complete the synchronisation of the electrical grids in these four countries with the central European network.

This will not be cheap, the official added, but it is very important and must be done.

The EC vice-president said that should a sound decision be made by June, with the approval and backing of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, the EC could then outline the necessary proposals and financial support.

The electrical grids in the Baltic states date back to Soviet times. They are linked with the Russian network, which makes them vulnerable to stoppages in supply from that direction, the AFP explained.

In order to reduce the reliance of Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn on Moscow, the EC wants to connect them with the rest of the EU through the Polish grid. According to policymakers in Brussels, this will be a step towards greater energy security for all these countries.