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Auditor General Mihkel Oviir replied to the interpellation concerning bringing the Natural Gas Act into conformity with a Directive (No 161), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kadri Simson, Tarmo Tamm, Aivar Riisalu, Yana Toom, Viktor Vassiljev, Valeri Korb and Kalev Kallo on 30 April. 

The Auditor General pointed out the reason for amending the Natural Gas Act. It had been based on the Government’s action programme which also determines the manner in which the directive concerning the internal market in natural gas is to be complied with. In Oviir’s words, the National Audit Office had analysed the materials related to the document and had met representatives of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Competition Authority and Elering Ltd. Oviir recalled that the Riigikogu had approved the amendment of the Natural Gas Act on 6 June. Oviir noted that the comments and proposals set out in the letter of the National Audit Office had been discussed separately with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications as well as in the Economic Affairs Committee. In consideration of the observations of the National Audit Office, several amendments had been introduced to the Bill. The Ministry had explained that the requirement of the expropriation of gas networks had been abandoned and it had been replaced by a penalty payment which the enterprise would have to pay until it would have sold the networks. Oviir stressed that the National Audit Office had never said if the networks should be taken away from Eesti Gaas or not. “This is not for the National Audit Office to say. However, it is for us to say that, if the Government or the Riigikogu decides one way or another, then they must know what consequences the decision will have on supply security, energy security and the gas price,” Oviir underlined. 

The Auditor General noted that supply security and energy security will not increase unless some other actions follow or accompany the separation of gas networks, like for example the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Estonia or in Finland or establishing a gas connection with Finland. The National Audit Office had stressed in its letter that the Riigikogu and the Government should analyse and resolve in together the opportunities to establish a liquefied natural gas terminal and a connection with Finland. 

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to three interpellations. They were the following: 

the interpellation concerning “The Yearbook of the Security Police 2011” (No 159), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Yana Toom, Lauri Laasi, Valeri Korb, Eldar Efendijev, Olga Sõtnik, Priit Toobal, Marika Tuus-Laul, Viktor Vassiljev and Mihhail Stalnuhhin on 19 April; 

the interpellation concerning the business at the border (No 165), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Inara Luigas, Lembit Kaljuvee, Kalle Laanet, Deniss Boroditš and Rainer Vakra on 2 May; 

the interpellation concerning the future of the Nord Stream gas pipeline (No 170), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Valeri Korb, Kadri Simson, Aivar Riisalu, Heimar Lenk, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Vladimir Velman, Lauri Laasi, Enn Eesmaa, Eldar Efendijev, Tarmo Tamm, Jüri Ratas, Kalev Kallo, Priit Toobal, Aadu Must, Viktor Vassiljev, Yana Toom and Ester Tuiksoo on 17 May. 

The Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder replied to the interpellation concerning the use of the support funds of the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (No 168), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Priit Toobal, Lauri Laasi, Peeter Võsa, Viktor Vassiljev, Enn Eesmaa, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Yana Toom and Ester Tuiksoo on 9 May. 

During the open microphone, Kalle Laanet and Heimar Lenk took the floor. 

The Riigikogu Press Service