Putin’s threats spur gas independence discussions

  • 2014-05-01
  • From wire report

BREAKING BAD HABITS: Energy experts strass the urgency to develop energy independence in the Baltic states.

RIGA - Estonian Riigikogu member Sven Sester, who headed the Baltic Assembly energy market round-table meeting that took place in Klaipeda, said that the Baltic States aspire for independence from the Russian gas supply monopoly, reports Public Broadcasting. Sester said that representatives of all Baltic States that participated in the meeting stated that the dependence on Russian gas has to be drastically reduced because of security and economic reasons.

“Putin’s threats that the events in Ukraine can affect gas deliveries to European Union states show again that Russia is using gas as a political weapon. In reply, the Baltic States and the rest of Europe have to improve their energy security and reduce dependency on Russian energy channels. We have let the situation emerge that the European states are connected via an umbilical cord with Putin’s gas and corruption-smelling gas contracts,” said Sester.
He added that in 20 years energy consumption has doubled, and in the next 20 years it will probably increase by the same amount. It is more and more important to find alternatives to Russian gas.

“The Baltic States should contribute much more into developing energy efficiency. The next step to achieve that will be the regional LNG terminal. Also, energy cooperation between the three Baltic States will have to be improved,” said Sester.
In March, Estonian and Finnish economy ministries agreed that two regional liquefied gas terminals would be built, one in Paldiski, Estonia and one in Inkoo, Finland and although there will be two LNG terminals, one company will operate them. The terminals will be developed by Gasum in Finland and Alexela in Estonia, who have to reach an agreement by the end of May on how things will be organized. The terminals will be linked with the BalticConnector gas pipeline.