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Russian-European gas pipeline project despite criticism coming from the US - Report

Gasoil News - Published on Thu, 06 Dec 2018

Image Source: The Irish Times
Sputnik reported that Germany has repeatedly defended its participation in the Russian-European gas pipeline project despite criticism coming from the US, its European allies and Ukraine. After the recent incident off the coast of Crimea, when the Russian border control confronted Ukrainian ships, some conservatives in Germany claim this stance should be revised. Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has spoken out against the country’s withdrawal from the venture project of Russia’s Gazprom and several European energy giants Nord Stream 2. He rebuffed criticism from lawmakers calling on the German government to drop out of the project in order to punish Moscow for seizing three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait near Crimea late in November. Russia accused them of violating the Russian sea border and failing to react to legal demands to abandon dangerous manoeuvres.

The diplomat, representing the Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats’ coalition partner Social Democrats (SPD), argued that the pipeline would be built even if Berlin pulled out. At the same time, in the case of leaving the project, Germany would lose its leverage to influence Russia’s energy policy, including gas transit via Ukraine.

Maas told journalists that "It would still be built, but there would not be anyone advocating for alternative gas transit through Ukraine. That is why we consider it important to remain engaged politically."

Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture between Russia's Gazprom and five Western European energy concerns, including Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, France's Engie, Austria's OMV, the Dutch-UK Royal Dutch Shell. The $10.9 billion project aims to build a capacity for the delivery of up to 55 billion cubic meters of additional Russian natural gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, and is expected to become operational by the end of 2019.

The project, which has received approval for construction in the territorial and exclusive economic zone waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Germany, has yet to receive Denmark's agreement. Last month, Nord Stream 2 AG, the construction company building the structure, reported that it had already laid about 250 km of pipeline.

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Posted By : Joykumar Irom on Thu, 06 Dec 2018
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