April 22, 2021

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Germany approves resuming Russia gas pipeline work

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German authorities on Friday gave immediate permission for work to resume on a subsea pipeline bringing natural gas from Russia

BERLIN — German authorities on Friday gave immediate permission for work to resume on a subsea pipeline bringing natural gas from Russia.

The decision by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency can be appealed, meaning there could be another halt to the construction on the Nord Stream 2 project, which has drawn major criticism from the United States, some other European countries and environmental groups.

The U.S. government has argued that the Baltic Sea pipeline would make Europe more dependent on Russian gas and hurt European energy security. The Kremlin has responded by accusing Washington of trying to promote its own liquefied natural gas sales.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters on Friday, however, that he did expect high-level talks with the incoming administration about the possibility of new U.S. sanctions on companies involved in the pipeline project.

“Naturally we want to talk about this topic with our colleagues in Washington as soon as the new administration is in office,” he said.

Maas added that he did not know whether the companies involved in building the pipeline had plans to immediately resume work following the Maritime and Hydrographic Agency’s ruling.

The Russian state-controlled natural gas company, Gazprom, has positioned a ship to resume work on the multibillion pipeline, which was suspended after a Swiss firm pulled its vessels out of the project amid threats of U.S. sanctions. Because the Russian ship is of a different type than the Swiss vessels, Germany had to issue fresh authorization.

Gazprom says 6% of the pipeline, or about 150 kilometers (93 miles), remains to be completed.




2021-01-15 06:33:31


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