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PM Ratas: Baltic gas market needs supply security and common rules of market conduct

Prime Minister of Estonia Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Latvia Māris Kučinskis and Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis visited Inčukalns to discuss the issues relating to the establishing of the regional LNG terminal. It was the third meeting of the Prime Ministers on the future of gas infrastructure. They have previously made joint visits to Paldiski and Klaipėda.

“I am happy I have been able to visit the gas infrastructure objects of all three Baltic States with my Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues. These meetings have been necessary to establish common positions and find the best solution for the future of gas infrastructure,” Prime Minister Ratas said after the meeting. “The importance of regional cooperation in this issue cannot be underestimated – diversification of supply sources and ensuring of stable and secure natural gas supply is a common interest of the Baltic States,” he added.

According to the Prime Minister, Estonia supports moving on with the plans for a regional LNG terminal. “We are ready to discuss various cooperation formats, but the preconditions for establishing a sustainable gas market and cost-effective infrastructure objects are common rules of market conduct in the Baltic States and discontinuation of state aid,” Ratas said, and added that the government of Estonia did not wish to support the projects with the taxpayers’ money.

Speaking about further steps, the Prime Minster said that it was important that the LNG infrastructure proposed by the project developers would satisfy the regional needs and take into account both the terminal projects in Estonia and Lithuania, and the natural gas storage facility in Latvia. “The Baltic States have to make joint efforts in order to ensure the European Union’s co-financing for the planned infrastructure,” Ratas said.

The proposed regional LNG terminal on the coast of the Gulf of Finland is an important element in a package that also includes the Baltic Connector gas interconnection between Estonia and Finland, and the GIPL gas interconnection between Lithuania and Poland. This list of major gas infrastructure projects was agreed upon in 2013 with the aim of connecting the Baltic States and Finland to the single gas market of the EU, thereby creating opportunities for the diversification of gas supply sources.

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