Viewing cable 07TALLINN227
Title: ESTONIA'S VIEW ON POLISH PARTICIPATION IN IGNALINA

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07TALLINN2272007-04-04 06:17:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tallinn
VZCZCXRO3837
RR RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHTL #0227/01 0940617
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 040617Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9702
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2481
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TALLINN 000227 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
INR FOR STOLTENBERG 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/30/2017 
TAGS: ENRG ECON LG LH PL EN
SUBJECT: ESTONIA'S VIEW ON POLISH PARTICIPATION IN IGNALINA 
 
REF: (A) 06 TALLINN 197QQ(B) 06 TALLINN 1090 
 
Classified By: ADCM Eric A. Johnson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
¶1. (C) Based on our recent discussions with key officials in 
Estonia's energy sector, it is clear that Estonia is open to 
the 
idea of Polish participation in the Ignalina nuclear power 
project.  However, GOE and Eesti Energia officials have 
expressed 
concern to us about the Lithuanian approach to the project 
and 
emphasized the need for consensus decision-making among the 
three 
original project participants (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia). 
 
¶2. (C) Both Sandor Liive, Chairman of Eesti Energia, and 
Einari 
Kisel, Director of the Energy Office at the Ministry of 
Economy, 
told us recently they believe Polish participation in 
Ignalina 
makes sense, and emphasized that it does not present a 
problem 
for Estonia.  However, our GOE counterparts bristled at the 
'unilateral way' Lithuania announced in the fall of 2006 that 
it 
wanted to bring Poland on board.  GOE officials note that the 
basis for Baltic cooperation on Ignalina is contained in the 
Trakai Communique, which was signed by the three countries' 
Prime 
Ministers February 27, 2006 (reftel A).  According to this 
agreement, invitations to additional participants should be 
made 
on the 'principle of consensus' among the three Baltic 
countries. 
 
------------------------ 
Matters of substance... 
------------------------ 
 
¶3. (C) For the GOE, the biggest complication posed by Polish 
participation is the division of project shares.  At Trakai, 
the 
three countries agreed that the Baltic energy companies would 
be 
invited to participate in the project "on equal terms." 
Since 
the invitation to Poland to join the project, however, 
Lithuania 
has proposed that it get one-third of the project, leaving 
each 
of the three other parties with approximately 22 percent. 
This 
is not a deal-breaker for the Estonians, as they understand 
Lithuania's sensitivity to the fact that the new plant will 
be 
located on Lithuanian territory.  However, Kisel told us that 
the 
GOE is concerned about Poland and Lithuania together wielding 
majority control, and has suggested Estonia would prefer 
Poland 
having a smaller share, perhaps 15 percent.  According to 
Kyllike 
Sillaste-Elling, the Prime Minister's Foreign Policy Advisor, 
the 
GOE opposes the idea of Lithuania codifying ownership 
percentages 
into its domestic legislation, as it would set unnecessary 
limitations on the shape of the project. 
 
------------------------- 
And matters of style... 
------------------------- 
 
¶4. (C) Another issue which complicates Baltic cooperation on 
Ignalina is the Lithuanian preference for dealing with the 
project at the political level.  Even in the early planning 
stages, Lithuania has sought strong involvement from its 
Prime 
Minister and President.  Both Sillaste-Elling and Kisel 
emphasized that the GOE's preference is to keep the 
discussions 
at a commercial level, with engagement from the Prime 
Minister as 
necessary from time to time.  This issue was particularly 
problematic during the last few months when the Lithuanians 
pressed for several meetings at the prime ministerial level. 
Sillaste-Elling commented that in the run-up to Estonia's 
 
TALLINN 00000227  002 OF 002 
 
 
Parliamentary elections, it was not appropriate for PM Ansip 
to 
attend. 
 
¶5. (C) Our Estonian interlocutors also expressed some 
concerns 
about the Lithuanian track record on Baltic cooperation. 
Eesti 
Energia's Liive told us that Estonia has had "a couple of 
unpleasant experiences in the energy field" with Lithuania in 
the 
past.  Kisel said he believes the two countries take 
different 
approaches to signed agreements.  The Lithuanians have a 
tendency 
to use signed agreements such as Trakai as more of a starting 
point for discussion while the GOE takes a much more "Nordic" 
approach - treating declarations and MOUs in a more 
contractual 
sense, not up for reinterpretation later in the process. 
 
--------------------------- 
Ignalina in the big picture 
--------------------------- 
 
¶6. (C) All of our contacts highlighted their belief that 
Ignalina 
is a higher priority for Lithuania and Latvia than for 
Estonia. 
In contrast to its Baltic neighbors, Estonia is already self- 
sufficient in electricity production.  Participation in 
Ignalina 
is only one of several avenues the GOE is pursuing to 
diversify 
electricity supply and reduce its use of fossil fuels.  Other 
recent initiatives include linking the Baltic and Nordic 
electricity grids via the Estlink cable to Finland (reftel 
B), 
modernizing the oil-shale fired power plants in northeastern 
Estonia, and modestly expanding the use of renewable energy 
sources.  Regardless, the GOE still sees great benefit in the 
Ignalina project, which would serve to link the Baltic 
electricity grid with Western Europe's UCTE grid.  The GOE is 
interested in the possibility that their share in Ignalina 
will 
provide Estonia with additional electricity for export to 
Finland 
and other neighbors.  (Note, Estonia currently exports about 
20% 
of the electricity it generates domestically. End Note.) 
GOLDSTEIN