"I have to admit that there is in Estonia a slight degree of frustration," the Estonian leader told journalists after meeting with his Lithuanian and Latvian counterparts in Raudondvaris, Lithuania.
In his words, six and a half years have been lost in the project, and it is now unclear whether the project would be developed further.
"We agreed six and a half years ago in Trakai that the three countries would do something. Then, without asking us, it was changed to four and it changed to three. And now we don't know if it's happening at all," Ilves said.
"During the six and a half years we have not pursued other things because we were doing this thing," said the Estonian president.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė stated that it was too early to speculate about the nuclear project development plans until approval of the new government program.
"Speculations are too early now – we have to wait for the governmental program," the Lithuanian leader noted.
In comment of the concerns expressed by the Estonian president, President Grybauskaitė said that the differing positions of governments about the nuclear project had a negative effect on Lithuania's image.
"Lithuania's incapacity to decide and implement the major projects indeed sends alarming signals to our neighbors and it is not beneficial to Lithuania and the rest of the region. Any government's incapacity to handle serious and large projects does not add to our good name," Grybauskaitė said at a joint news conference of the three Baltic leaders.
In her words, neighbors are entitled to raising doubts about Lithuania's position on the new nuclear power plant, as "Lithuania has been talking without doing anything for a long time, revised its position frequently and, in the end, nothing is clear again."
"Indeed, the regional project is crucial for all of the region, and it could develop the whole region and secure energy security of the whole region," the Lithuanian president said.
Would-be prime minister surprised
Lithuanian Social Democratic Prime Minister-Designate Algirdas Butkevičius expressed surprise over Ilves' comments on Visaginas nuclear power plant.
"I have different information, that there have been no written confirmations from Estonia and Latvia that this project is economically beneficial. And I am very surprised at this comment. I can assure that we'll talk to everyone, first of all, to the Latvian prime minister. My first visit will be to Latvia," Butkevičius told journalists on Wednesday.
According the draft government program, Lithuania plans not to continue the N-plant project, taking into account the results of a recent advisory referendum. Candidate for minister of economy Birutė Vėsaitė reiterated the point during her meeting with management of the Confederation of Industrialists on Wednesday.
Talking to journalists on Wednesday, Butkevičius said that Visaginas project was unrealistic but refused to clearly state whether it would be pursued or not.