Security panel chair expects Seimas to hold hearings on energy in fall

Vytautas Bakas

Vytautas Bakas, chairman of the Lithuanian parliament's Committee on National Security and Defense (NSGK), expects the Seimas to hold hearings in the fall on whether the country's key energy projects are in line with its national security interests.

The lawmaker says that these hearings should include such projects as the Ignalina nuclear power plant decommissioning, the power grid synchronization with the Western European system, and the combined heat and power plants that Lietuvos Energija is building in Vilnius and Kaunas jointly with Finland's Fortum.

Bakas says he is currently meeting with the heads of the State Security Department (VSD) and other bodies, and members of the Cabinet and experts, and plans to discuss this issue with Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis in August.

"There will be hearings in the fall on the energy sector, as far as this concerns national security interests," Bakas told BNS.

"There are several aspects, including the Ignalina closure and the synchronization, the implementation of the agreement, and third, things around the cogeneration plants, because this discredits Lithuania's policy," the committee chairman said.

"Lithuania's mistakes were that the authorities failed to explain to people what value one or another project creates. That's why energy projects have always caused antagonism, whether it was the Leo project, the Ignalina closure or, now, the cogeneration projects," he added.

Bakas said that there is a lack of information about what value Lietuvos Energija's CHP plants create for society.

"Nobody speaks about what value the cogeneration plans will create or will not create for society. Nobody can say that," he said.

"The technological solutions of these cogeneration plants have nuances, too. One is that they burn biofuel and another is that they burn waste. That waste-to-biofuel ratio may determine how Lithuania will look in the context of the circular, no-waste economy, and we need to speak about that."

Bakas said he plans to call on VSD and the Special Investigation Service (STT) to provide declassified information on interest groups active in this field of energy.

"We have information about all interest groups. I have it. It's classified as a state secret, but I don't see any reason for keeping it a state secret. We have to lay all of our cards on the table," the lawmaker said.

"I'll ask the STT heads to prepare an analytical product about corruption risks, and (I'll ask) the VSD head (...) to make public information about interest groups. There's nothing bad in that. This is normal. What's abnormal is when interest groups act the way MG Baltic does," he said.

Source: BNS
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