The decision to fund an alternative gas pipeline through Poland and Lithuania is enormously important for Latvia, as it will end the country’s energy dependence and create an actual alternative for gas supply, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma (Unity) said in a press release today. Economy Minister Vja?eslavs Dombrovskis (Reform Party/Unity) agrees, saying that « Latvia currently stands on an « energy island »; we have access to only one gas pipeline, and a regional inter-connection is the only feasible solution, which will ensure energy independence. » Both officials wish to remind that the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) decided to distribute the project costs among the involved member states. The project will be realized from 2019 until 2020. According to ACER, Poland will receive EUR 85.5 million, EUR 54.9 of which will go to Lithuania, EUR 29.4 million – to Latvia, EUR 1.5 million – to Estonia. In order to improve the energy infrastructure, several projects were submitted to the European Union for funding. One of them – the Latvijas Gaze project – stipulated modernization of underground gas storage facility.