Estonia Torn Between Emotion, Reason with Nord Stream
by Aleks Tapinsh Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)
September 11, 2007
For Estonia when it comes to Nord Stream, the gas pipeline to link Russia and the European Union via the Baltic Sea, it's a choice between emotion and the country's international image.
The government of the small Baltic nation, which joined the EU in
2004, is scheduled to decide by September 30 whether to grant the
Russian-German project permission to research the Baltic seabed in
Estonian territorial waters for construction of the pipeline between
Russia and Germany.
"The government will be in a bit of a pickle," Andres Kasekamp
told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on Tuesday. "They'll postpone the
decision as long as they can."
Nord Stream requested seabed surveys in the Estonian economic zone
after Finnish authorities asked for the original route to be moved
According to Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip on Tuesday
Estonia's answer to Nord Stream will be based on rational arguments,
It would be emotionally satisfying for Estonia to say nyet to
Russia, Kasekamp said. Relations between the two countries soured
after the Estonian government relocated a Soviet-era World War II
monument in April.
Domestically, the very idea of the 1200-kilometer Russian pipeline
going through Estonian economic zone has been controversial. Former
German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir
Putin agreed to construct the pipeline without consulting with other
nations that would be impacted by the project, some say.
The agreement between the two leaders was likened to the pact
between Germany and USSR in 1939, which scarred Estonia and the other
two Baltic nations for decades, and cost them their independence to
Soviet Russia in 1940.
Internationally, Estonia however is liable to provide a reason for
Russia to paint the country as obstructionist and inconsiderate of
her EU partners.
"The gas pipe construction is expected not only by the Germans and
the French, but also our good partners the Danes and the British. Why give Russia another reason to accuse us of nonconstructive behavior and paranoia," Kasekamp said in an opinion piece published Monday in Estonia's Postimees (The Courier) newspaper.
Copyright 2007 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH
Nord Stream Pipeline
Nord Stream AG
Vyborg, Russia to Greifswald, Germany Russian Federation