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Baltic States to Disconnect Electrical Grids from Russia and Belarus in February 2025

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have officially confirmed plans to disconnect their electrical grids from the Russian and Belarussian systems (BRELL) in February of next year, as announced by officials from the Baltic nations.

Jaanus Uiga, Estonia’s Deputy Secretary for Energy, stated to national media on Tuesday, “The desynchronization process, ongoing for nearly 20 years, will culminate in early August when the Baltics formally inform Russia and Belarus of their decision not to participate in the new annual period starting next February.”

On February 9, 2025, the Baltic states will integrate into the Continental European (UCTE) electrical grid, a day after disconnecting from BRELL. Previously, desynchronization was slated for the end of 2025, but the timeline has been expedited.

Energy consumers are not expected to experience any disruptions during the transition.

The strategic objective of decoupling from the Russian and Belarussian grid, predominantly managed by Moscow, was declared by the prime ministers of the Baltic nations back in 2007. They view electricity dependency on Russia as a threat to national security.

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are the only EU member states currently not linked to the UCTE grid. They were integrated into the Soviet power network after being annexed as “constituent republics” by the USSR during World War II.

In 2018, these Baltic nations signed an agreement with the European Commission and Poland, securing funding to modernize their grid infrastructure for UCTE integration.

The agreement stipulated the use of Lithuania’s existing LitPol electricity link with Poland, alongside a new subsea cable beneath the Baltic Sea. It also mandated the decoupling from Russia by 2025.

Following Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in May 2023, the prime ministers of the Baltic nations agreed to expedite the decoupling from BRELL. The estimated cost of the transition is 1.6 billion euros (1.72 billion dollars), with three-quarters of the funding provided by the EU.

Estonian media reported that the Kaliningrad region, a Russian exclave situated between Lithuania and Poland, has prepared for the transition by constructing new gas power stations.

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