Grybauskaite: Lithuanian, Croatian energy projects important to all Europe

Monday, 29 June 2015

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, on an official visit to Croatia, and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic opened a bilateral high-level energy forum Towards the European Energy Union, the Lithuanian presidency said.

The forum, which gathered more than 100 participants, focuses on energy security and joint EU actions to ensure it. Taking part in it are energy ministers, top officials of strategic energy companies as well as analysts and experts from both countries. The general manager of the Klaipeda LNG terminal and representatives from Klaipedos Nafta will introduce the Lithuanian success story of ensuring energy independence to Croatia, which also plans to build a similar LNG terminal.

In her opening speech, Grybauskaite underlined that energy independence was the key element of real national independence and freedom.

"Twenty five years ago, Lithuania re-established its independence. Fourteen years later, we joined NATO and the European Union. And just several months ago, we built an LNG terminal to protect our independence against any gas price blackmail or threats to disrupt gas supplies," the president said.

Grybauskaite underlined that after electricity interconnections with Sweden and Poland were competed at the end of this year, Lithuania would become a full-fledged member of the European energy market. This would safeguard our national security and continued progress.

According to the Lithuanian president, secure and transparent supplies represent a major challenge to the development of a sustainable EU energy sector - and in some cases to European unity. In this respect, the EU's Energy Union that is now being created and strategic energy projects implemented in individual member states are very significant.

The Klaipeda LNG terminal is highly important for the Baltic Sea region, while Croatia's decision to build an LNG terminal on the island of Krk is of great relevance to the Adriatic Sea region. The terminal is expected to supply gas to southern European countries from the Caspian Sea region. The newly constructed Ionian Adriatic and Trans Adriatic pipelines would be used for this purpose.

The Lithuania and Croatian LNG terminals have been listed by the EU as projects of strategic importance for the common energy market and energy security.

One third of the crew on the Lithuanian LNG carrier Independence are Croatians. Grybauskaite described it as a meaningful example of energy cooperation between Lithuania and Croatia.

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