Friday, September 21, 2007

No to Nord Stream

Bloomberg reports that the Estonian government has turned down a request by the Nord Stream/Gazprom project to survey the seabed off the Estonian coast, threatening to delay plans to ship Russian gas directly to Germany:
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip's government rejected the request by Nord Stream AG based on Estonia's "sovereignty" and "national interests", the Estonian government said in an emailed statement today. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vowed the project would be completed anyway.

The 1,200-kilometer (720-mile) pipeline, overseen by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, would run across the Baltic seabed, which is littered with World War II-era munitions. Poland and the three Baltic countries --Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania -- oppose it, citing environmental concerns. Denmark, Finland and Sweden have voiced similar concerns.

"Our main position has always been that this pipeline in the Baltic Sea is not advisable at all," Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said on Estonian public television today. "There have never been any disagreements about that. We will not allow the building of this pipeline in our economic zone."

Nord Stream requested permission to survey the seabed after Finland proposed moving the pipeline route southward into Estonia's economic zone.

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