The Nord Stream pipeline, which will pump gas from Siberia to Europe under the Baltic Sea, bypassing East European transit countries, is being built jointly by Russian energy giant Gazprom, Germany's E.ON and BASF, and Dutch gas transportation firm Gasunie at an estimated cost of $12 billion.
"Once we receive this documentation, we will promptly consider this issue [to permit construction in Finland's economic zone]," Matti Vanhanen said after talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
"Europe should decide whether it needs a gas pipeline from Russia at the proposed capacity or not. If it is not needed, then we will not build the pipeline, we will build gas liquefaction plants and send [liquefied gas] to world markets," Putin said after the bilateral talks.
Vanhanen assured the Russian premier that Europe would need Russian natural gas supplies through the pipeline, but said Helsinki would consider the project based on ecological concerns and environmental legislation.
Putin said Nord Stream had spent more than $100 million on environmental research for the pipeline project.
"We are ready to work with environmental organizations on a broad range of issues related to the problem," the Russian premier told his Finnish counterpart.