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Estonian PM tells nation to prepare for blackouts if Russia switches off power grid

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After a remarkable parliamentary session in Tallinn (Estonia), July 18, 2022, Kaja Kallas, Estonian prime minister, speaks to the media.

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (pictured) warned her nation of the possibility of power blackouts if Russia removes the Baltic countries from the joint power grid. She also announced a quick defence readiness exercise.

According to the government's website, she stated that Russia could disconnect Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from their electricity grids.

She said: "It would wise to be prepared for potential power outages – that includes public authorities and companies, as well as every individual," and described any disruptions in the same way, calling them "temporary".

The Russian Embassy in Estonia stated Friday (23 September) that Russia is not initiating the withdrawal of the Baltic countries from the common grid.

Nearly 3,000 Estonian reservists were summoned to an annual defense exercise lasting a week in Estonia on Thursday (22 September). However, the PM stated that there is no immediate military threat.

She urged Russians living in Estonia to refuse any invitation to fight in Ukraine.

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Thirty years after the Soviet Union split and seventeen years since joining the EU, the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia still depend upon Russia for their stable power supplies.

The EU funded project, worth €1.6 billion ($1.94bn), aims to disengage the Baltic States from their power grid with Russia or Belarus by 2025 and allow them to access the decentralised power system in continental Europe.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nuseda said to Reuters that his country is prepared if Russia cuts it off from the regional power grid as a retaliation against blocking rail shipments of some Russian goods into Moscow's Kaliningrad exclave.

ENTSO-E, the European power grid network, will connect to the Baltic States' grids in 24 hours if Russia cuts power, Litgrid, Lithuanian power grid operator, said in July.

"If Russia disconnected us, even now, we would still be prepared. Litgrid Chief Executive stated that our analysis showed that there would be no rationing of power and no major disruptions.

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