Latvian and Estonia sign agreement for cooperation to ensure security of gas supply

Latvian Minister of Economics Jānis Vitenbergs has signed an agreement with the Estonian government for solidarity in activities to ensure security of gas supply, as confirmed by the ministry.
This is international mutual agreement details the order under which Latvia or Estonia provide assistance to each other in situations when one of them ends up in an emergency situation with gas supply. Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure of Estonia Taavi Aas signed the agreement on his country’s behalf.
‘This way we will further enhance regional cooperation among Baltic States in the energy sector and affirm our readiness to provide assistance to one another in the event of an energy crisis,’ stresses Vitenbergs.
The agreement consists of 19 articles that detail conditions for provision and reception of mutual assistance. The agreement also includes three principles for solidarity – market activities, auction activities and non-market measures.
In the event of a state of emergency on the gas market, the first step will be the implementation of market measures when one side procures the necessary gas volume from the other side’s businesses in accordance with procurement contracts. If it is not possible to procure enough gas to supply all gas users of one side, an auction will be organised. In this case the provider is to organise an auction during which gas supply companies will be able to submit offers for gas supplies. Additionally, if market measures and auction are not enough to acquire a sufficient volume of natural gas or if one side does not accept the other side’s proposed offers, it will be allowed to extend another offer with non-market measures. This includes, for example, limitation of natural gas supply for certain gas users from the provider’s side. Compensation will be provided for non-market measures.
As it is known, European Parliament and European Council regulation provides that in an emergency situation EU member states are to provide and receive support to other EU member states with which they have a shared gas pipeline connection. The regulation also provides that all directly connected member states are to form mutual agreement for the use of a solidarity mechanism.
Solidarity mechanisms are planned to be adopted by EU member states to be used as a mechanism to be used to reduce consequences from emergency situations on the gas market and ensure uninterrupted supply of natural gas to different users or «users protected in solidarity».
These users include households, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, state and municipal social care centres and rehabilitation institution, crisis centres, social rehabilitation institutions for persons suffering from addiction, emergency services, telecommunication hubs, Emergency Medical Service, State Fire and Rescue Service, National Armed Forces, State Police, State Border Guard, state security institutions, water supply and sewer maintenance stations, prisons, mobile civil protection units.
The Ministry of Economics explains it is important for energy consumption to not cease or be limited for protected users regardless of the energy crisis.