The European Commission is to open talks with Russia and Belarus in a bid to integrate the Baltic States’ electricity system with other parts of Europe.

Currently Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are part of Russia’s UPS IPS grid which was built as part of the Soviet system.

While it is accepted that, in the short term, Russia’s electricity system is incompatible with that of the rest of Europe – Russia has no means of auctioning interconnector capacity – the EC regards building links to the Baltic ‘electricity island’ as a key stepping stone to wider European energy security.

It would like to see the three Baltic states link with Finland, Poland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden and there are also plans for a north-south interconnector between the Baltic states and central and southeastern Europe.