Jüri Ratas: Baltic electricity, gas synchronization progressing well
Prime minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) says that Baltic electricity grid synchronization with continental Europe has been proceeding well.
Speaking after a meeting in Riga between the prime ministers of all three Baltic States, Ratas said that: "It is now important to ensure that the synchronization project is also seen as being of great political importance with the new European Commission and parliament, and necessary co-financing from Connecting Europe Facility for it is ensured."
Gas connection welcomed
The three prime ministers, with Arturs Krisjanis Karins and Saulius Skvernelis of Latvia and Lithuania respectively, also welcomed the progress achieved in the establishment of a common gas market, with the milestone Balticconnector project due to complete on Dec. 11.
At the same time, the leaders stressed the need to continue the deployment of new sources of energy and interconnections. Estonia is particularly interested in cross-border cooperation in the development of offshore wind farms, BNS reports, and is prepared to share its experiences in the use of biomethane in transport.
The prime ministers also emphasized that the EU budget for 2021-2027 must be ambitious, and support climate neutrality goals. Cohesion policy and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must not be downsized, with CAP harmonization of direct support needing to take place at a faster pace.
A farmers' protest on Toompea in Tallinn early next week has been organized following what demonstrators say is a broken promise on agricultural support in the 2020 Estonian state budget bill, as well as continuing inequalities under the EU's new budgetary period as it relates to the CAP.
The tree leaders also talked about relations with the U.K. post-Brexit, with Ratas noting that the country would continue to be a close ally, at a working dinner where they were joined by their Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki.
Next year sees Estonia become presiding nation of the Baltic Council of Ministers and coordinator of the NB8 cooperation involving the Baltic and the Nordic countries.
To balance the two responsibilities, Estonia has set common priorities: Regional security, large common infrastructure projects, digital cooperation, the fight against climate change, environmental issues, cultural cooperation, and healthcare, according to BNS.
Editor: Andrew Whyte