Lithuania doesn't rule out pipeline

  • 2006-09-27
  • Staff and wire reports
VILNIUS - When signed, the German-Russian Baltic Sea pipeline project was seen by some in the Baltic states as the second Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

However, unlike the 1939 pact, which contained secret protocols responsible for the Baltic states ending up under Soviet rule, Germany and Russia have indirectly invited the Baltic countries to join the pipeline project, and Lithuania is considering just that.
"I have assigned the government the task of analyzing if there is such a need," Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said in an interview with Ziniu Radijas radio on Sept. 21.

Russia's gas giant Gazprom, together with Germany's E.ON and BASF is constructing the 1,200-kilometer gas pipeline, which will run from Vyborg under the Baltic Sea to the German city of Greifswald.
"Gazprom and E.ON Ruhrgas International hold one-third of Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas) and are both participants in this project. Therefore, I think it is possible to discuss this issue at a meeting of the board of Lithuanian Gas," he added.
Former Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas did not discuss the country's possible participation in the project when he met with German leaders during his visit to Germany last May.

In light of recent gas politics vis-a-vis the Ukraine, the Baltic countries and Poland are worried that Russia may use the pipeline as a tool of energy policy.