PM Ansip kept his meeting with Nord Stream CEO secret18.06.2012, 09:47
In April press reported about a meeting that prime minister Andrus Ansip held in April with the representatives of Nord Stream, but few know that the two parties have had secret meetings already before, writes Äripäev.
In September 2011, Ansip met with Matthias Warnig, general manager of German-Russian gas pipeline consortium Nord Stream, in the Estonia concert hall during a concert organized by Nord Stream that had invited PM Ansip.
Because of the meeting, the concert was also attended by prime minister’s adviser in foreign affairs.
During the concert, Warnig and Ansip had a brief encounter where Warnig personally handed to Ansip the marine environmental monitoring report prepared by Nord Stream.
Although the government press spokesperson says that the meeting was very brief and that the report that Warnig had given to Ansip is available for public also on the website of Nord Stream, it is obvious that Nord Stream considered it important that it is Ansip himself who delivers the report to the ministry of environmental affairs that is run by Keit Pentus, a close ally of Ansip.
The relations of the Estonian government and Nord Stream have been tense until now.
Until last week the public had no idea about Ansip’s meetings with Warnig in September.
It was actually Ansip himself who disclosed the information, doing so in the parliament’s Q&A session.
Responding to a question from a Centre Party MP, Ansip apparently understood that Centre Party had information about the meeting and decided to disclose it himself.
Answering to a question from MP Elder Efendijev whether Estonia had a copy of the marine environmental monitoring report, Ansip said: “Estonia has a copy of this monitoring report. The report was handed over by Matthias Warnig, CEO of Nord Stream, not at our most recent meeting, but at a concert of the youth symphony orchestra that Nord Stream is sponsoring.”
The MP said that he was interested to know Ansip’s view about the news that Nord Stream plans to build two more underwater gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea between Russia and Europe.
“Nord Stream gave these monitoring reports to its partner countries, but since Estonia and Nord Stream are not partners, I would like to know if we have this report or not,” asked Efendijev.
Commenting Nord Stream’s expansion plans, Ansip said that the Estonian ministry of environmental affairs had been working hard with the report.
“I an confirm that the results of the monitoring show that there have been no measurable negative environmental impact,” said Ansip.