Riga/Berlin, May 5 (EFE).- Leaders of the Baltic states and Poland on Thursday formally inaugurated the gas interconnection between Poland and Lithuania (GIPL) aimed at boosting energy security in the region after Russia disrupted gas supplies to Poland.
Russia cut off gas supply to Poland last week after Warsaw refused to comply with Moscow’s demands that Russian gas be paid in rubles.
The ceremony took place at the Jauniunai gas compressor station located near the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, in which Lithuanian president Gitanas Nauseda symbolically pressed the button to activate the 508-kilometer-long gas interconnection.
“Lithuania, together with Poland and the rest of the Baltic countries, resolutely say ‘No’ to Russian gas, ‘No’ to Russian oil, ‘No’ to financing the aggressor,” Nauseda said.
Polish president Andrzej Duda echoed that sentiment and said the pipeline was in response to Russia’s “blackmail”.
“Today’s interconnection is another step in helping this region to be fully integrated into the internal EU energy market, diversifying away from Russian gas. This has become all the more important following Russia’s unilateral decision to disrupt gas supplies to Poland and the decision of the Baltic States not to import Russian gas,” EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, who attended the ceremony, said.
The pipeline is expected to provide Poland with 2 billion cubic meters of gas per year, which accounts for 10% of its annual consumption.
Poland consumes over 20 billion cubic meters of gas every year, half of which was provided from Russia, according to data from the Polish National Statistical Institute. EFE