Saturday, August 16, 2008

Nord Stream recruits Finland's Ex-PM

Via FinnRosForum:

Paavo Lipponen becomes Nord Stream advisor
Helsingin Sanomat, 15.08.2008

Former Finnish Prime Minister and Parliamentary speaker, Mr Paavo Lipponen, will take on a post as advisor to the Russian-German gas pipeline developer, Nord Stream. Mr Lipponen will serve in the post for a period of one year.

Mr Lipponen says he accepted Nord Stream’s offer about a month ago in Berlin, when he met Nord Stream’s Managing Director, Mr Matthias Warnig, and Chairman of the Board, Mr Gerhard Schröder, who had asked him to take the job.

Mr Lipponen says he will be an “independent contact person,” who will act between two sides involved in the project. He will take the views of Nord Stream’s management to the Finnish authorities and inform Nord Stream on the views of decision-makers in Finland.

Before accepting the post, Mr Lipponen got a go-ahead from Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, a few other cabinet members, and President Tarja Halonen. The acceptation was an absolute prerequisite for him to be able to perform successfully in his new function, Mr Lipponen says.

Mr Lipponen reminds that he supported Nord Stream’s gas pipeline project even when he was Prime Minister, and his stance has not changed since. In his opinion, the project is of mutual interest to Russia, an energy producer, and the EU, which is in need of energy.

In Mr Lipponen’s opinion, the gas pipeline should be seen as an environmental question in Finland. Environmental requirements must be followed to the law, but the requirements must remain within reason, he says.

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