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Statement of the President of the Republic in Connection with Guaranteeing the Constitutional Competence of the Riigikogu on August 17, 2001

It is the constitutional duty of the Estonian Head of State to maintain the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and the national defence of the Republic of Estonia, including the defence of strategically important sectors of economy. In this statement, I turn to all the factions of the Riigikogu in the matter of privatisation of the Narva power plants and the additional Eesti Põlevkivi.

As we know, the legislative power has, on the basis of its own legal acts (Section 27 of the Energy Act and Subsection 3, Section 5 of the Foundation of and Participation in Legal Persons in Private Law by the State Act) adopted a decision on the company founded on the basis of the Estonian and Baltic power plants on December 16, 1998. It is my conviction that in the procedure of privatising the Baltic and Estonian power plants, the Government has contradicted this decision, and thus also the legitimate will of the Riigikogu.

Therefore I consider it urgently necessary for the legislative power to discuss the matters connected to the disposal of the shares of the Narva and Estonian power plants, and to prepare a platform on the following questions:

- Is the privatisation agreement in accordance with the Rome and Maastricht treaties, and with the Europe Agreement, as concerns opening of markets and competition?
- Is the privatisation agreement in accordance with the Government’s decision on the evaluation of the shares of Eesti Põlevkivi?
- Will the privatisation agreement separate the functioning and working frequency of the Estonian power energetics from the control centre in Moscow?
- Will the agreement allow a minor shareholder to get the post of director general of the Narva Power Plants and to be in control of both the power plants and the oil shale district, where it will be a full owner due to the ownership of 51% of the shares equity?
- Has the privatisation agreement found a solution or a possibility for the utilisation for the ashes from fluidised bed boilers, which - unlike the current flying ashes - may severely pollute the Narva River and the Gulf of Finland?

I am convinced that it is the obligation of the legislative power to inform the public on the above matters.

I consider it to be contrary to the constitution and parliamentary principles to privatise the branch of industry that has the greatest strategic value in Estonia in secrecy, and to justify the secrecy with the terms of the agreement claiming that the agreement is confidential. I see security risks in such peculiar line of conduct. I consider it self-evident that all the members of the Riigikogu will have the possibility (if necessary, on a closed session) to be introduced to all the details of the agreements, and, if necessary, to invite oil shale power experts to the session.

I have repeatedly addressed the Estonian public and our Government in matters concerning energy security. Last year, on the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, I pointed out the need to guarantee the integration of our power networks with the Nordic energy networks; in February this year, I pointed out the need to draft the plan of our power economy for the coming twenty years; in a press release from June 27, 2000, I pointed out the need for the Government to have the mandate of the Riigikogu for privatising the shares of the Narva power plants.

I hope that the Riigikogu will discuss the privatisation of Narva Power Plants Ltd in the nearest future, engaging in the discussion all the factions of the Riigikogu; and, in concord and taking into account the national security interests, find an answer to the questions posed here and make the corresponding decision based on its best discretion.


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