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Baltics Hope Poland Pipeline Link Will Lower Dependence On Russian Gas

Baltic leaders have expressed hope of lowering their reliance on Russian natural gas after signing an agreement with Poland to build a pipeline that links Poland and Lithuania.

The Baltic leaders are now seeking greater access to storage and transmission lines so that the options for Lithuania can be shared with Latvia and Estonia.

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas said after the signing in Brussels on October 15 that it is not good to be “dependent on a single source of supply.”

He said the project will help to build “a Europe that is closer to each other.”

Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma said the project will “ensure the diversification of the supply routes and sources of natural gas.”

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite called the project “decisive for the competitiveness of all European Union countries,” not just the Baltic region.

European countries have been trying to reduce their reliance on Russian natural gas after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and started backing pro-Russian separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine who have been fighting Ukrainian government forces since April 2014.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa

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