Sun | Dec 8, 2019

Russia-Germany gas pipeline gets go-ahead

Published:Thursday | October 31, 2019 | 12:23 AM
A Russian construction worker speaks on a mobile phone in Portovaya Bay some 170 kms (106 miles) north-west from St. Petersburg, Russia, during a ceremony marking the start of Nord Stream pipeline construction.
A Russian construction worker speaks on a mobile phone in Portovaya Bay some 170 kms (106 miles) north-west from St. Petersburg, Russia, during a ceremony marking the start of Nord Stream pipeline construction.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP):

Denmark said Wednesday it is giving permission for a joint German-Russian underwater gas pipeline to be laid through its territory, in a blow to the United States, which had fiercely opposed the project.

The decision by the Danish Energy Agency to approve the Nord Stream 2 pipeline’s route is a victory for the governments of Russia and Germany, which had staunchly supported it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the move, saying it reflected Denmark’s respect for its European partners.

The plan to transport natural gas about 1,200-kilometres (746-miles) through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Europe has come under fire from US President Donald Trump’s administration and several European countries, who argue it could increase Europe’s dependence on Russia for energy.

The Danish government agency said it had granted a permit “to construct a section of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines on the Danish continental shelf southeast of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.”

“We are pleased to have obtained Denmark’s consent,” said Samira Kiefer Andersson, a representative for Nord Stream 2 AG, the company that manages the project. “We will continue the constructive cooperation with Danish authorities to complete the construction of the pipeline.”

She said preparatory work and the pipelay will start in coming weeks.The US government, which wants to sell its liquefied natural gas to Europe, has threatened sanctions against companies involved in the undersea pipeline.

Putin, speaking on a visit to Hungary, welcomed Denmark’s decision.

‘Responsible international partner’

“Denmark has shown itself to be a responsible international partner, protecting its interests and its sovereignty, as well as interests of its main partners in Europe, which are strongly interested in the diversification of supplies of Russian hydrocarbon resources to the European market,” Putin said at a news conference following his talks in Budapest with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Konstantin Kosachev, head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, noted that the permission was issued despite the “powerful pressure” of the project’s foes “from Ukraine to Poland to America.”

A refusal to allow the pipeline’s construction would have “inflicted serious losses to European companies without any real reason,” Kosachev wrote on Facebook.