BRUSSELS, January 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia suggests a project to synchronize the electric power grids of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the European Union (EU), Vladimir Chizhov, Permanent Representative of Russia at the EU, said in an interview to Russian journalists here.
"This (synchronization) would be a powerful factor in developing trade in electric power," Chizhov said. His opinion is that the process of negotiations on a draft agreement on a joint operation of the united power grid of Russia and the energy systems of Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, the agreement which provides for a joint use of the electric power systems, is faltering "exclusively for political reasons".
The Permanent Representative recalled that the countries of the Baltic, while being members of the EU for ten years now, still remain in the united electric power grid of the CIS. "Throughout the period, they have been eager to switch over to the electric power system of the EU," Chizhov pointed out. "According to our data, they placed an order for a feasibility study and cost analysis with a certain independent company. The latter did the work in good faith but estimated the step at an astronomical sum, and they came to wonder where they can get the money. A way out was found quite quickly: from the EU".
However, the European Commission does not intend to fund the undertaking and, according to the Permanent Representative, allied with the Russian side "in resolving the issue through synchronizing the systems of Russia and the EU as a whole, not through separating the Baltics and switching it over".
Chizhov's opinion is that construction by Russia of a Baltic nuclear power station in Kaliningrad Region would also become an important step in that direction, since the amount of electric power generated by that station will be more than twice as great as the Kaliningrad Region's requirements, which opens up possibilities for the export of electric power to neighboring countries.