RIGA Feb 21 Gazprom-owned companies should not
be involved in any Baltic liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal
because the project's aim would be to cut the region's
dependence on Russian supplies, Latvia and Estonia said on
Gas companies Gasum in Finland and Vorguteenus in Estonia -
both of which are partially owned by Gazprom - inked a deal
earlier this week to promote the Finnish town Inkoo for an LNG
terminal and a pipeline to Paldiski in Estonia.
Both Estonia and Latvia expressed doubts about the plans on
"Being independent of the present monopoly gas supplier is
an unavoidable prerequisite for Estonia's support for the
regional LNG terminal," Estonia's minister of economy and
communication Juhan Parts said, according to local reports.
In neighbouring Latvia, Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts
said the goal of the terminal project was to secure real
alternatives to gas supplies for the region.
"With that, only those solutions can be supported that are
not connected with the existing supplier of natural gas,"
Pavluts said in a statement to Reuters.
The Latvian ministry said that talks on the optimal location
for the terminal could take place "in the near future."
The countries have not yet agreed on which LNG terminal and
pipeline project to support to boost their chances of getting EU
funding for the project.
(Reporting By Aleks Tapinsh; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)