Transition to where? Energy trilemma in the Latvian strategic narrative after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


In 2021, Latvia ranked 20th globally according to the World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Index with energy security dimension being evaluated the highest. Russia’s war in Ukraine introduces new challenges for all dimensions of energy trilemma in the Baltic Sea Region, reflected in the need to cut off Russia’s oil and gas supplies immediately, to protect citizens from an unprecedented rise in the energy prices and to develop alternative energy sources rapidly. This study looks at Latvia’s energy trilemma via the perspective of strategic narratives. It explores the attempts of Latvian political elite to establish an enabling discursive environment for stopping imports of Russia’s oil and gas. Russia’s war in Ukraine provides a chance to construct a persuasive strategic narrative at national level, which meets a twofold goal: Latvia’s energy independence and mitigation of climate change, the latter being an issue of low political and societal resonance in Latvia. The results of the study are mixed, demonstrating a superiority of energy security in the strategic narrative of the Latvian government. The second dimension of energy trilemma - equity – is well represented but requires further scrutiny given the upcoming parliamentary elections in October 2022. The dimension of environmental sustainability is the most controversial, as the strategic narrative involves not only development of wind farms but also continuation of use of fossil fuels, i.e. diversification of gas suppliers and construction of the terminal of liquified natural gas in Latvia. A secret decision to cut younger trees, despite objections by environmental protection organizations, rises doubts about sustainable future of forests. Such controversies should be avoided to ensure the credibility and the persuasive power of the strategic narrative, and to find a balance between all three dimensions of energy trilemma.
Period21 Oct 2022
Event titleThe Energy Trilemma in the Baltic Sea Region: Security, Equity and Sustainability in an Age of Transition
Event typeWorkshop
LocationGreifswald, GermanyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Energy security
  • Equity
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Climate change
  • Political communication

Field of Science

  • 5.6 Political science