Estonian President Alar Karis met with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö on in Tallinn on Tuesday. In a press conference at Kadriorg, the two presidents confirmed that Estonia and Finland are working together to prevent potential attacks on the energy infrastructure connecting the two countries.
"We also discussed this issue at yesterday's National Defense Council, as well as the security of the Balticconnector (The undersea gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland - ed.)," Karis said at the Kadriorg press conference on Tuesday. "Fortunately, it connects two friendly countries and that reduces any risk. As far as I know, there is no risk at the moment and we are able to protect it. However, we still must be vigilant," stressed Karis.
Karis additionally expressed hope that there would be no cause to deal with a similar situation to that which occurred last week, when leaks were discovered in the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Denmark.
"I certainly believe that our officials will cooperate very well on this," Niinistö said. "Finnish public officials have been working for a long time to prevent sabotage, especially to infrastructural assets. This also applies to the attacks against Nord Stream. There, various comprehensive means of protection are in place," Niinistö said.
Niinistö also referred to Estonia's NATO membership and the process of Finland becoming a member of the alliance, which should ensure both countries are able to obtain sufficient information to protect the power cables and gas pipelines connecting them.
Asked about the security of Finland's nuclear power plants, Mr Niinistö pointed out that they are in close proximity to St Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city.
"Of course, nuclear power plants are very sensitive objects and we have been paying a lot of attention to their security, even before the war in Ukraine started. I think that the Finnish authorities are considering all the possibilities," Niinistö said. "On the other hand, since St. Petersburg is quite close to the plants, I think that will also be taken into account. However, I would be happy not to discuss any specific threat," the Finnish President added.
During their press conference, the presidents also discussed Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, Finland's accession to NATO and security issues more generally.
Editor: Michael Cole