Simson: Transatlantic energy cooperation must increase

Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Centre).
Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Centre). Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Cooperation between Europe and the US in the energy field must grow, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Centre) said at a transatlantic meeting of energy ministers in Houston, noting that increased cooperation would yield positive results for both sides.

"Europe and the US must engage in greater cooperation in the field of energy than has been the case to date," Ms Simson was quoted by Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications spokespeople as saying. "I emphasised this in my remarks delivered at the ministerial meeting as well, where I highlighted cooperation in clean energy and greater sharing of knowledge, ensuring the security of energy networks and transatlantic energy trade as the main areas of cooperation."

According to the Estonian minister, EU member states have set very specific climate goals and are working towards a cleaner environment and energy.

"This is a matter where Europe cannot be left on its own and which has a very big impact on both sides of the Atlantic," she stressed. "The same is true for ensuring energy security. There was a lot of talk at this meeting about cyber security in energy and minimising the risk of cyber attacks. Secure networks are a topic to which regrettably little attention has been paid thus far."

The meeting, which brought together US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and energy ministers from states connected to the Three Seas Initiative in Houston, was the opening event of a new initiative called the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy Cooperation.

Within the framework of the meeting, a separate meeting also took place between the energy ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and US Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.

US interested in situation in Baltics

Ms Simson said that in addition to the topics mentioned above, the Americans also raised the subject of the construction of Nord Stream 2 and diversity of energy supply. Recently endorsed amendments to the gas directive offer the possibility to subject the Nord Stream 2 gas link to the principles of the European Union's single energy market. 

"The US is very interested in what is taking place in the Baltics," the Estonian minister said. "Beginning with progress concerning LNG, the gas market, and ending with the synchronisation of electricity networks. Estonia is quite a unique country in the world in that it is capable of producing for itself all the energy it needs. A capability like this with good infrastructure gives a feeling of confidence."

She added that linking the Baltics' energy networks with those of Western Europe will provide even stronger security.

"We agreed at the 3+1 meeting that we will meet in the same format again soon and intensify cooperation in the field of energy," Ms Simson said.

The Three Seas Initiative is an informal forum on the level of presidents that brings together 12 EU member states bordering on the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Seas, or Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The goal of the format is to advance the development of north-south telecommunications, energy and transport infrastructure.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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