Social Democrats and EKRE support dropping Russian gas

Gas. Source: Paul Hudson/(CC BY 2.0)

The opposition Social Democrat Party (SDE) and Conservative People's Party (EKRE) both support no longer buying Russian gas in Estonia, while representatives said that this cannot be done overnight.

"The Social Democrats have maintained for some time that Estonia could curtail the use of gas and utilize more renewable energy sources, effectively reducing its energy policy dependance on Russia," SDE MP Jevgeni Ossinovski said.

"I expect the government to come up with a clear plan for phasing out the use of Russian gas for the purpose of heating Estonian homes," he added.

Ossinovski said that completely ending the use of Russian gas in district hearing would take a few years. "It requires political will, corresponding regulatory and likely support measures," Ossinovski said.

He added that the state needs to ensure support for home consumers for refitting gas heaters.

EKRE chairman Martin Helme said that a decision to stop buying Russian gas is unavoidable in the current situation, adding that it will deliver a painful setback and emphasizing the importance of alternatives. Helme proposed constructing an LNG terminal in Estonia.

"The capacity to handle LNG needs to be created post haste, while Estonia should also ramp up its own gas production. We know that oil shale is being turned into gas today, while in very small quantities. It is basically a byproduct of industry," the politician said. "It is possible for Estonia to produce its own gas."

Helme added that giving up Russian gas overnight is impossible. "We have 200,000 households currently using gas heating, as well as entire industries that rely on it."

"The decision could be made in spring if we will make it. But we need to count on the possibility of the Russians making it for us and simply turning off the gas. This would put us in an extremely difficult situation," Helme commented.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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