Poland and Lithuania signed a large energy deal under the supervision of President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker at the European Council in Brussels, Thursday, ratifying a treaty that will see the construction of the Gas Interconnector Poland-Lithuania (GIPL) pipeline. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz came to witness the signature ceremony, accompanied by other Baltic leaders Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas and Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma. Juncker called the event a “break-though,” telling the audience "you have witnessed history being made." He went on to address the Lithuanian and Polish leaders, saying "you have ended the energy isolation of the Baltics, you have ended their long lasting dependence on a single supplier. You have linked the whole region to the rest of Europe." The European Commission (EC) have invested € 300 million ($ 341 million) in the pipeline project, with Juncker calling it "our biggest ever investment into a project of this kind.” Expected to be completed by 2019, the pipeline will reportedly be capable of delivering 2.4 billion cubic metres of gas a year from Poland to Lithuania, and a further 1 billion cubic metres in the other direction. The EC has pushed the project, saying that they hope to ‘diversify’ gas supplies to Europe.
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