Baltic and Polish heads of governments discuss energy issues in Warsaw

05.12.2010 | 14:14

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Warsaw, 5 December 2010

At a meeting in Warsaw today Estonian prime minister Andrus Ansip, Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Lithuanian prime minister Andrius Kubilius and Polish prime minister Donald Tusk discussed regional power industry issues and exchanged views on the upcoming European Union summit.

Lithuanian prime minister Andrius Kubilius shared with his colleagues a detailed overview of the current status of the project of the nuclear power plant to be built near the city of Visaginas in Lithuania. Kubilius confirmed that after the failure of the public procurement organised to involve a strategic partner, Lithuania is set to commence direct negotiations with possible new core investors.

According to Prime Minister Ansip, Estonia is still very interested in participating in the Lithuanian nuclear power plant project.

“Although Estonia is currently able to satisfy 100% of its electricity needs, it is important for us to diversify our production sources, and one option is Estonian participation in the planned Lithuanian nuclear power plant.” he said. “Joint implementation of this project by Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland would make the regional electricity market much more even and further strengthen ties between our countries.”

By the end of this year Lithuania had intended to select a strategic partner for the construction of the nuclear power plant, but the company from South Korea which won the public procurement unexpectedly announced that it was withdrawing from the project. Although the construction initiative is now behind schedule, Lithuania has passed several nuclear safety and security and waste processing laws, removing legal obstacles to the plant’s construction.

According to Ansip, progress in the construction of the Lithuanian-Polish 1000 megawatt electrical connection is good news for all of the countries on the Baltic Sea as it reinforces energy security in the region.

“The southern cable connections, along with the Estlink cables between Estonia and Finland, facilitate our connection to European electrical grids and further reduce the isolation of the Baltic States in the power industry,” he said.

Among other power industry-related issues discussed by the heads of government were the liquefied natural gas terminal to be built in Swinoujscie in Poland by 2014 and different options for the building of a similar terminal in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania or Finland to supply the whole region with natural gas. The European Commission also attaches importance to the diversification of regional gas supplies.

At the meeting, the prime ministers also declared their national interests and viewpoints in connection with the European Union summit in mid-December. All agreed that the cohesion policy budget for the next EU budgetary period should remain at the current level. The prime ministers also deemed it necessary to stress the joint position of the Baltic States and Poland about the need to make the European Union’s agricultural subsidies analogous for all Member States and abolish the persisting differences between older and newer Member States.

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