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Expert: Estonia is winning “international contest” in worsening relations with Russia

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“Estonias position on Nord Stream can result in a situation when research works will move towards Finland,” St. Petersburg State University Professor, Director of the Center for Transborder Studies Nikolai Mezhevich said today commenting to a REGNUM correspondent on the Estonian government denying the permit to conduct research of the seabed in the Estonian economic waters requested by Nord Stream AG (Germany).

According to Mezhevich, Finland, most probably, will not oppose, although there are experts there calling to halt the Nord Stream project. “However, it is necessary to take into account the fact that the shore line in the Finnish territory is skerry and this can substantially complicate both research works in the seabed and construction of the pipeline,” the expert concluded. He also noted that the situation with the Estonian governments denial must be treated in the frameworks of the Russian-Estonian relations. “I can say, a kind of an international contest in deteriorating the relations with Russia was announced between Latvia, Estonia and Poland,” Mezhevich said and explained: “Latvia ceased the standoff, when it received consent for connecting its gas storage facilities to Nord Stream; a visit of the Polish president in Russia is a light, very careful, but still a step to meet halfway. The situation with Estonia is still the same as it was on the night of transferring the Bronze Soldier Monument.”

Earlier today, the Estonian government decided not to meet the request of Nord Stream AG (Germany) to conduct research of the seabed in the Estonian economic waters.

As REGNUM reported before, Nord Stream AG addressed the Estonian Foreign Ministry with a request for permission to conduct geophysical and geotechnical research, visual control and taking samples in the Estonian economic waters for possible laying out the Russian-German gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea bed. On September 18, the Estonian foreign ministry advised that the government met the request citing results of its analysis and that issuing a permit would not mean permitting to lay the pipeline itself. 19 from 20 independent surveys of the project ordered by the Estonian government gave a positive assessment to the project and recommend to issue the permit. Only Academician Endel Lipmaa gave a negative assessment to the project.

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