Berlin willing to support Nord Stream-2 if its conditions are met

Jun 09, 2016 12:00 AM

Germany's Minister of Energy declared that Moscow must fulfil several conditions before Berlin backs the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.

Sigmar Gabriel, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, said that Russia must make sure that a number of specific conditions are met before Germany approves of the Nord Stream-2 construction.

According to Bloomberg, the minister made this statement ahead of his meeting with Miguel Arias Canete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, who opposes the construction of the new pipeline as he believes that it will negatively impact Europe’s natural gas supply diversification.

Gabriel stated that Germany won’t budge until three conditions are met: the new pipeline must adhere to German regulations; it must not affect the ongoing natural gas transit through Ukraine; and its construction must not result in a decrease of natural gas supply to Eastern Europe.

The Nord Stream-2 project aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union bypassing the Baltic nations, Ukraine and Poland. In September, Russian energy giant Gazprom and its European partner companies — E.On, Shell, OMV, BASF and Engie — signed a shareholders agreement on the project.

The project has been met with opposition from some EU member states, including Poland and the Baltic countries, over fears it would increase European energy dependence on Russia.

Furthermore, the Nord Stream-2 is also being opposed by the US which considers the pipeline a threat to its plans to export large volumes of shale gas to Europe. However, rather than oppose the project directly, Washington prefers to goad other European states – for example, Poland – into taking action against the pipeline.

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