Friday, June 04, 2010

In Between the Major Powers (Nuclear Power in Lithuania)

Newsletter 2010/05/31 - In Between the Major Powers

VILNUS/BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) - German-Russian nuclear energy intrigues are provoking protests in Lithuania. In Vilnius the Minister of Energy is complaining that in contravention of the terms of the contract and in spite of billions in financial outlays, the dismantling of the Ignalina nuclear power plant is stalled. The contract was accorded the German Nukem company, which at the time, was a subsidiary of the German RWE Corp. but was bought last year by the Russian Atomstroyexport company. The delay in dismantling the Ignalina plant is of particular significance, because it also postpones the construction of the new Lithuanian power plant, at the same time enhancing Russia's prospects of making Lithuania - and eventually Poland - dependent on energy from Russia's new "Baltic Nuclear Power Plant" now being constructed in Kaliningrad. The Kaliningrad power station is destined to deliver nuclear produced electricity also to Germany, thereby intensifying the German-Russian energy cooperation. The German Siemens Corp. is being considered by Kaliningrad's project organizer to be a possible partner. Last year, Siemens had agreed to enter long-term cooperation with the Russian atomic energy administration, Rosatom. The further elaboration of the European-Russian relations in the energy sector is on the agenda of the EU-Russian Summit, which begins today. Berlin and Moscow will be the ones to profit most from this relationship.