FM urges Baltic power link

The Baltic Times
Feb 25, 2009
TBT Staff

RIGA-To ensure energy security for the Baltic states need it is necessary to build power links between Estonia and Finland, Lithuania and Poland and the Swedish power link, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said in an interview with Latvijas Avize daily.

“The most important thing is that all three Baltic states realize the significance of the energy security issues. Latvia and Lithuania have only yet to agree to which country the link will be laid from Sweden. And it means that in the future, all energy markets have to be open,” said Paet.

“Maybe I am too optimistic, but it ought to be done by 2015, when we should have single Baltic and Nordic energy market,” the Estonian minister continued.

Paet said concrete steps will have to be taken by this time that that it was good the European Commission’s plan and five billion euro worth of funding was in place for this purpose.

“Such energy space must become our priority. The next project, the nuclear power plant in Visaginas [Lithuania], has been delayed unfortunately. Only three years ago we were hoping that the project will be advanced much faster. Hopefully, in the first half of March the three Baltic prime ministers and representatives of energy companies will take a real decision with far-reaching consequences,” Paet said, noting that Estonia is already considering building its own nuclear power plant.

Energy security issues have become increasingly important in the Baltic states that face the prospects of energy shortages after Lithuania shuts down its nuclear power plant in Ignalina at the end of this year.