Lithuania has inaugurated two power links to Poland and Sweden connecting its power grid to Europe, in a further move to cut the region's reliance on Russian energy.

The new links add 1,200 megawatts of capacity to the Baltic region via the LitPol cable to Poland and the undersea NordBalt cable to a network in Sweden.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite attended the opening ceremonies Monday with the prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. She said the networks join the countries to the western European energy market with "strategic importance to the Baltic countries and the whole of the European Union."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sent Lithuania his congratulations, saying the commissioning of the links marks "an important step forward for regional energy sector integration."