At its Monday sitting, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu heard the overview of Estonia’s positions regarding the increasing of gas supply security and the steps taken to achieve it, presented by the Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas. As several questions remained unanswered at the sitting, the Foreign Affairs Committee decided to continue the discussion in the nearest future and with the participation of experts.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson said that the discussion that had lasted for more than one and a half hour mainly focused on what would be the best solution in regard to gas supply, keeping in mind the energy security interests of Estonia. “It is undeniably a decision or an agreement that has a long-term impact on both our security and our economy, and therefore the comprehensive political discussion is also of great importance,” Mihkelson said.
In his overview, Prime Minister Rõivas gave a survey of the progress of the negotiations so far. He stressed that in order to achieve long-term supply security, Estonia is planning to build a smaller LNG terminal that would satisfy Estonia’s needs, and also to create the possibilities for better connection of its gas network with the terminals in Poland and Lithuania, but first of all it is important to reach an agreement with Finland on the construction of gas pipeline.
The European Commission has also promised to support the building of the gas pipeline to the extent of up to 75 percent, if there is an agreement between Estonia and Finland, because the Commission considers the connecting of gas networks and the establishment of market very important. At the same time Rõivas admitted that it has not been easy to reach an agreement with Finland, and he did not dare to make any prediction on when it would be possible.
Mihkelson stressed that focusing on the pipeline without considering the investments for a LNG terminal would not give us the expected result. “The Foreign Affairs Committee expressed the opinion that in its positions, Estonia should stress today that in striving for supply security and more acceptable price for consumers, it is necessary to proceed from the terminal project that would be the best and enable us to win time,” Mihkelson said. He recalled that this was also the approach of the European Commission.
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