Appearing on ETV’s political one-on-one show “Esimene stuudio” on Thursday night, Sikkut said: “Monday’s decision [that the FRSU vessel would sail to Finland ahead of the winter] means that security of supply for Estonia and Finland is guaranteed.
“The last link is in place. There will be enough natural gas available in the Baltic and Finnish regions to meet our winter needs. This is what we are working towards and we have achieved this goal,” said added Sikkut.
While it finally became clear on Monday that the vessel was heading for Inkoo, Finland, rather than Paldiski, Estonia, even though the latter location’s LNG terminal is ready, whereas in the former it was not. If so, on Monday, Sikkut noted that at the end of June it was clear that Finland was in a difficult situation compared to the start of the year, after the Russian Federation cut off its natural gas supply to the country.
Finland has no gas link with neighboring Norway, X, leaving the Balticconnector gas pipeline that connects it to Estonia as the only functional conduit for natural gas.
Sikkut said: “The agreement reached in the spring was very convenient. In Estonia, we argued and in the end we did not start renting an FRSU ship. The Finns rented their ship for 10 years, for almost half a century In such a case, it would be strange to assume that the Estonian government decides where this ship ends
“However, no terminals were completed in Finland and Russian gas was still flowing at the time. Estonia is well located and the preconditions were in place. An agreement was reached that in the first year the terminal would go to whichever berth would be completed first (i.e. from Inkoo or Paldiski – ed.) It was understood that the one in Estonia would be the first to be completed – and it turned out that it was – but in the meantime Russia cut off its gas supply [to Finland].”
Another factor is the price of electricity – Finland is likely to use LNG-derived natural gas to generate electricity at its power plants, Sikkut said.
The state has not betrayed the private sector, which is responsible for the bulk of the Paldiski berth development work, she added, adding that if the latter wanted to sell the facility to the state , he would be fully rewarded.
Demand for LNG across Europe is growing, the minister noted, and an FRSU vessel can still be brought to Estonia if needed.
Two two berths are an “insurance policy”, including, for example, if Inkoo does not remain ice-free, when the berth under construction at Paldiski was the right decision at the time and now, she added.
Moreover, as recently as the end of September, the Prime Minister was continuing to work to try to get the FRSU ship to dock at Paldiski, while nothing had happened that invalidated the initial decision taken in the spring – by the Sikkut’s predecessor, Taavi Aas (Center).
Options are also still open to possibly acquire a stake in the Finnish company responsible for LNG supply, Sikkut added, although this is unlikely to be picked up.
Opposition Center Party MPs are planning a vote of no confidence in Sikkut for Monday, claiming a lack of transparency over the saga and a failure on his part to defend Estonia’s interests, on which Sikkut has remained nonchalant.
“The elections are approaching (in March next year – editor’s note). I have been in power for three months, with a complex portfolio. Three months before a vote of no confidence – a fairly good result,” said Sikkut, who is a former Minister of Health also said.
“I’m not involved in this ‘fight in the mud’ over who said what to whom, who wrote what and who might be the culprit – I think there’s no need to dwell on that anymore- on it now,” Sikkut added, referring to a news outlet. report yesterday that the State had already requested in June that the FRSU not settle in Paldiski.
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