Dear friends, here are some perplexing news. I read and reread them several times, checked sources and encyclopedia, and still couldn’t understand what exactly is happening. Hopefully, together we will get to the bottom of it.
Estonia has decided to fight for its “energy independence” and decided to buy natural gas from… Finland.
There is only one question regarding this otherwise normally sounding news. What is the source of natural gas in Finland?
Let’s figure this out step by step.
Yle, or the Finnish Broadcasting Company reports that the construction of the Balticconnector gas pipeline project to connect Finland and Estonia with the natural gas pipeline started on 8th of June 2018 near Helsinki.
The reason for this project, as I have said already, is to reduce “dependence” on Russian gas.
During the opening ceremony, Finnish Minister of the Environment and Energy Kimmo Tiilikainen stated that the construction of the Balticconnector will be beneficial to all participants on the Eastern part of the Baltic Sea region.
It will also open the Scandinavian energy market for the Baltic countries.
This gas pipeline also, in his opinion, will increase the security of natural gas deliveries.
So far so good.
Here are some technical characteristics of this new gas pipeline project.
The total length of Balticconnector will be 153 kilometers.
77 kilometers of pipe will be laid across the Baltic sea from Pakri Peninsula in Northwestern Estonia to Inkoo, Finland.
The gas pipeline capacity is 7.2 million cubic meters of gas per day.
The total cost of the project is approximately €250 million.
Let’s remember this number of €250 million.
The European Union pays for 75% of the cost.
The construction will be completed in 2020.
Everything is good, so far.
Great news that received a massive media coverage in both, Estonia and Finland.
Everything seems to be great.
But I want to ask again, what are the sources of natural gas in Finland?
To find an answer to this question we can look into geological textbooks and encyclopedias, or we can read August 2016 headlines.
“Finland just got $210 million from the EU to break its dependency on Russian energy.”
All is very simple.
The natural gas in Finland comes from Russia.
Let’s first read the media coverage of the 2016 related news.
“The fight around the Nord Stream 2 is on its final stretch. At the time when Brussels approved $210 million to reduce Finland’s dependency on Russia’s natural gas, foreign partners participating in construction of the NS2 are getting ready to fight Poland’s objections to this project.”
In terms of the natural gas, Finland was, probably, the most dependent on Russia country.
But it was back in 2016. Today, however, Finland sells natural gas to Estonia. Well… It’s getting ready to start selling natural gas to Estonia in 2020.
The quoted article tells us that Finland has little domestic natural gas and that most of it comes from Russia. The result is an alleged strong Moscow‘s pressure on Finland, according to Brussels.
In this context we might recall recent visit of president Putin to Helsinki. We all remember this visit.
Europeans in general, and countries neighboring Finland, in particular, expressed strong criticism of this visit.
Especially critical were Swedish politicians.
However, all critics got stern rebuke from Helsinki that said that Finland will be deciding whom to invite for a visit.
It’s not surprising that the European Committee wants to reduce Finland’s dependency on Russian gas and ready to spend some money to achieve this.
European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete announced that the Committee allocated $210 million on the construction of a gas pipeline, the same pipeline that I talked about at the beginning. In 2016 total construction price was estimated to be $250 million, but a part of it was paid by the Finish taxpayers. The pipeline, as I mentioned before was to connect Finland and Estonia to reduce Finland’s dependency on Russian gas.
Logic is not the strongest trait of European politicians.
The gas pipeline to reduce Finland’s dependency on Russian gas would total length will be around 160 kilometers.
It means that the gas pipeline announced in 2016 is the same as the Balticconnector.
In 2016 they announced that gas delivering will start at the end of 2019. Now, they says that the project will start operating in 2020.
This gas pipeline will become a part of the interconnected pipelines that will connect the Eastern European countries and will be competing with the Nord Stream 2.
Brussels believes that the Balticconnector will shatter the “energy isolation” of Finland. It will make it possible to purchase less of Russian gas and, in consequences, it will reduce the pressure that Russia, allegedly, uses on Finland.
Friends, let’s try again.
The Balticconnector is being built to reduce dependence of Estonia on Russian gas. But two years ago, The Balticconnector project was supposed to reduce Finland’s dependency on Russian gas.
Do you feel that someone somehow is being dishonest here.
Let’s read further.
European Commissioner Cañete states that the diversification of energy import sources and diversification of energy delivery routes, and also the unification of energy markets are all priority tasks for the Energy Union. These conditions will help to provide everybody in the EU with reliable energy.
Friends, energy must be reliable. And also energy must be democratic. Pure. Kind. Positive. And Not Russian.
You got the message.
“Government of Finland intends to diversify the energy sector in the country by building several small LNG terminals for the LNG to be delivered by the sea.”
That’s it! Puzzle is completed.
Using the Balticconnector terminals, Finland will be selling Russian natural gas to Estonians, while buying American LNG for themselves.
No one buys anything from “damn Moscals.”
Estonians buy natural gas from Finland.
Finland will buy LNG from the US via new terminals, while covering the shortage by buying gas from Russia. And this will make everyone happy.
The full energy independence is achieved.
This actually is very funny.
Our people momentarily realized what actually going on here, and immediately started trolling this news on social media.
“The EU gives 185.5 million euros to reduce Estonian dependency on Russian gas by building a gas pipeline from Finland. The source of natural gas in Finland remans a secret.”
There are some other questions that the European Commission hasn’t addressed.
Where will Estonians be getting natural gas if Russia decides to sell less to Finland?
What would happen if a very cold winter forces Finns to use everything they buy from Russia?
We all understand that the American LNG will be very expensive and it will not be able to cover all energy needs of Finland and Estonia if there is a lack of gas. At the bare minimum, neither the US no Europe has infrastructure capable of handling necessary volume.
That’s why at least part of the gas will be bought from Russia. Because today, according to the experts, Finland buys from Russia nearly 100% of gas the country needs.
So, it’s possible that in case of a very cold winter, Finland won’t be selling gas to Estonia.
In this case Estonia can use the example of such developed European country as Ukraine. Ryabcev, an energy expert in Ukrainian, provides us with an answer. “Everyone says that we have not been buying any gas from Gazprom for the past two years. However, when in March Gazprom stopped deliveries to Ukraine and the pressure inside the pipeline went lower, we were told about the shortage of gas. Where would this deficit come from if we didn’t buy gas from Russia? We don’t depend on the transit of the natural gas from Russia. We experience the shortage of gas, because we couldn’t buy more gas from Slovakia. Slovakia doesn’t have its own natural gas. It simply resell Russian gas that it receives via Ukrainian transit pipeline.”
Friends, when Slovakia needed more gas that it purchases from Russia, it simply started selling less of it to Ukraine. As a result, Ukraine started experiencing the lack of natural gas.
The most important for nationalistic Estonians is to realize now that they might be left without any gas if they cut off the gas pipeline coming from Russia. In this case they will have a real “peremoga,” or a Ukrainian sort of dubious victory.
Dear citizens of Estonia, ask your government how realistic is to achieve your “energy independence” from Russia via the Balticconnector project?
Tell me about this in comments. Share with me your thoughts, friends. Tell me who else is performing this political gymnastic by claiming that gas that they buy from Russia is their own gas which they sell to others.
Nothing good can come out of this ridiculous situation. There are limited number of gas producing nations. Who needs all these?
Well, we know who. So, the US would sell its LNG.
That’s about it about this strange the Balticconnector gas pipeline from Finland to Estonia. Who will be providing energy security to whom is still a big question.
Share you opinion in the comments. Warm cheers to the people living in the Baltic countries. All the best. Goodbye.
What we have here is double talk from the EU and Estonia based on wishful thinking and self delusion. A job for a psychologist. They pretend they “don’t” need Russia, yet at the same time cannot do without Russia. Pretty soon they will all be screaming to join the Eurasian Economic Union.
Apparently the U.S. is not only exporting expensive LNG to Europe. It is also exporting even more expensive American business logic.
Actually its quite simple. If you look at it from a EU bureaucrats (economists & lawyers) view, both Finland and Estonia got less dependence of Russian gas why the declared political goal and funding is justified.
Its normal practise. Finland looks in EU´s budgets, where can we get some finance. Whoops they have €210 million to less Russian gas dependency. We do make a creative construction to get these money for jobs and administration.
Whether it in practical terms relates to any energy safety or the gas is cheaper or more expensive, is without importance.
The importance is the €210 million financing and that the related purpose can be legally defended.
The Baltics are s***ty little Nazi countries which hold really nice big Nazi rallies every year to honour the SS.
They also deny their citizens of Russian heritage the right to vote, the right to obtain a government job, and the right to hold a passport.
They are so deluded that they believe Putin spends every waking minute plotting to invade them to seize the Latvian peat bogs and the Estonian lap dancing bars.
The economies of those countries have collapsed. They are depopulated. Most of the people have fled to try to scratch a living doing menial jobs or working as prostitutes in the EU ( the only thing they produce that the EU wants.)
Most of the actual politicians/ leaders of those countries are rabid Neocon US dual nationals.
They could make a fortune as energy transit hubs. But they are so hostile and unreliable Russia bypassed them with Nordstream. Ports like Riga could have had a bright future as general transit hubs. But they were so hostile and unreliable Russia extended its own port facilities instead.
I very much enjoyed Estonia and Lithuania during my travels there last year. Understand the remnants of Soviet horror in the old folks and see how the red army threat is reinforced now by the media, the younger generations, much like in the west, mindless in their gobbling up of obvious and stupid propaganda…regardless, the people, landscape, architecture, cuisine and countryside are often beautiful, if at times a little haughty (thinking mainly of Tallinn)…Vilnius is one of my favourite cities in Europe! Latvia was very different. It seems that after the Soviet demise there was a power vacuum, no law and order, chaos, law of the gun, with the public coffers looted. Riga seems as derelict as many suburbs of London, Manchester, Napoli, Paris. Run down, grimaces all round…
Anyway, it’s misleading to generalize the Baltic’s as nazi countries…a fair few of these people suffered appallingly at the hands of the Nazis and the Soviets. Their fear and concern, no matter how manipulated, are reasonable given quite recent histroy. Yes the Russian federation is not the Soviet union. But I’m sure the Chinese haven’t forgotten the Japs, whilst modern Japan is not the Japanese empire.
People don’t forget losing hundreds of thousands, millions of lives…
Thank you for standing for Lithuania and its people! Most people here want to live in peace and stability (who wouldn’t?) and I’m sure over the course of time the Lithuanians will understand it’s in their own interest to give a hand to Russia and that their history, culture and people are undeniably tied with Russia. After all, who was the first invader?
If I go to the Baltic circus show and the bear breaks loose and nears me, I would do what anyone has heard should be done in case of an encounter with a bear: stand in front of the bear and stare at it without looking down and gently avoid any poking or taunting until the bear no longer cares about me or sees me.
The government likes to play the patriotic card maybe because it works for the elections. I think patriotic people tend to vote more than young people for example. It’s good that these people defend their own culture and heritage and it’s certainly not incompatible with dealing well with other nations who share the same values. The wind of “populism” sweeping across Eastern Europe tends to show the contrary, doesn’t it?
People should look both ways whent they cross the thoughts in their minds. Is there really a threat and if so, where? Where will I get my cheapest expensive gas from and whom will I sell my extra dairy products to? Of course, it’s not that simple to think when you’re misinformed (uniformed would be more appropriate when I look at the state of the media here) and to say no when subsidies comes from Brussels for your agriculture and your clean energies and that you’re asked something in counterpart. At least, when it comes to common sense, the intergenerational conservative background takes over. Better apply the precautionary principle.
Anyway, to make and enforce peace and develop a good relationship with your direct neighbors should be the rule of thumb in military and economic strategies’ building, especially in such countries as the Baltics, located between those two “giants” that are the EU and Russia.
And yes, Vilnius has become an international city over the last 10 years and is a good place to be. Cheers to that.
A foreigner in Vilnius
And certainly, the Russians don’t either.
Yes, what you have written is true. They hate Russians yet cannot do without Russia, as all three are nothing more than banana republics which have nothing. It is estimated that between 25 % and 30 % of their populations have emigrated. Their future is in doubt.
Their future is American military bases, and to be service and cannonfodder for Americans……………….LOL.
I find it astonishing, that the following is never remarked in this context: decreasing the “dependency” on Russia means increasing the dependency on the USA. Now who is a more reliable partner, Russia or the USA? I believe that empirical studies can give a good answer her. And my guess is that by a far margin Russia is more reliable than the USA.
So with increased dependency on the USA, there will be coming even more blackmail and use of force through the USA. The European “partners” make trouble — sorry, the gas prices just increased.
This is so obvious today. The USA is obviously in an economic war with Europe, wants to harm as much as possible the productive forces in Europe. Great thing then to increase the cost of living and producing in Europe, and furthermore stealing their money (that’s what it amounts to).
And certainly, the Russians don’t either.I feel that this commentary is absolutely correct. The yanks themselves have proven it so, man times over.
This is all part of America’s plan for Global Energy Dominance, which involves among other things forcing out energy producing rivals like Russia (or Iran) from global markets, while pushing expensive American LNG onto energy consuming nations from Europe to Asia in order to subordinate them.
What Trump’s Policy of Energy Dominance Means for the World
Note: the Americans under the Trump Regime are increasingly dropping the mask about promoting “energy independence” and instead pushing American energy *dominance.*
But then again, the Americans have *always* been driven by their lust for domination–though it is has concealed by self-righteous propaganda about defending freedom and democracy (ha).
This is, after all, why the Pentagon advocates American Full Spectrum Dominance of the world.
Irrespective of the USA short-term supply of ” fracked gas products ” even in the short term, the fact is that the Russian natural gas supplies are less costly, in both the short and the long term, and upon that prospect Russia’s competive product export will remain the ” Euro-Asian Leader “.
Very amusing commentary. The baltics were similarly self buggered in the 1920s-30s. Like with poles, it must be genetic. ;-D
It is all very simple really. By masking their new gas import pipeline as an export pipeline, the Finns cleverly tricked the EU into paying most of the bill, and also ensured the approval of our NATO overlords.
For the pipe, it does not matter if the gas goes from Finland to Estonia or the other way around.
This convoluted situation seems to be related or a product of the EU determination to break up what it sees as vertical monopolies when a gas supplier also runs the pipelines and is the seller to the end user.
I am not an expert so may misstate something about this, although I believe this is the essence of the situation.
More info on the EU’s Third Gas Directive/Third Energy Package can be obtained through an online search, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Energy_Package
The core idea is that the EU insists on “unbundling” sales from generation and transmission.
The EU intends to make sure that “competition” characterizes the supply of gas: End users should not be obliged to purchase from any one supplier but should be able to choose to buy gas from whomever they please, also on the spot market.
This is of course a veiled way of cutting Russia out of its obvious role as the supplier of the most reliable and cheapest gas, leading to “energy dependence.” The EU seems to have a hard time grasping the realities of supplying gas over long distances: It requires a lot of infrastructure. In order to have the funds to construct the needed (and fairly complex) infrastructure, a gas supplier such as Russia needs to show investors that it has a long-time-frame source of funds to finance the construction and the interest on the financing. In the past this was done via long-term contracts for supplying gas, at, BTW, very advantageous terms for the users. However, this strategy is challenged by the Third Directive.
Speculation: Maybe the EU decided that in the case of Estonia/Finland, it would eat the cost of building the pipeline in order to avoid calling attention to the idiocy of their prescriptions for “unbundling” to ensure”competition” in pricing.
It is also possible that Finland has figured out the many advantages of being a “transit” country for gas to other parts of Europe. Not only the transit fees, but also the potential to channel off some gas intended for “export” to one’s own pipelines and storage facilities.