News // Politics
Denmark readies law to block Nord Stream 2, Russia has a backup plan
16 October 2017 , 00:04Neftegaz.RU1456
The bill, discussed in the Danish parliament on 12 Octoberr backed by a majority, poses a threat to the nearly €10 billion Nord Stream 2, which critics say would increase European dependence on Russian gas. Russia says it has a backup plan in case of difficulties.
Denmark currently has no law that encompasses foreign, defence and security policy, Energy Supply and Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt told members of the Danish parliament.
The new law, which could take effect on 1 January 2018, allows Denmark to evaluate if projects passing through its territorial waters are compatible with the nation’s foreign policy, security and defence interests.
The Ministry of Transport and Energy would no longer make decisions on its own and a veto by Danish authorities would offer limited opportunities of appeal.
Lawyers have argued that under present rules, Denmark cannot block Nord Stream 2.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former Danish leader and Nato chief, who currently advises the president of Ukraine, told EUobserver that it would be «absurd» to let Nord Stream 2 go ahead at a time when the EU was trying to impose a cost on Russian aggression in Ukraine via economic sanctions.
«We are now following the debate in the Danish parliament. Although we do not know how it ends, any project’s manager would consider alternatives in such situation. We are evaluating continuously,» Nord Stream 2 spokesman Jens Mueller told to Danish daily Berlingske.
The company’s technical director Sergey Serdjukov said this week they are ready to re-route the pipeline, avoiding Danish territorial waters if Copenhagen blocks construction plans.
According to Serdjukov, «everything has been already prepared, and it won’t be very difficult.»
«The distance does not matter. Who cares about a couple of extra kilometers on a 1,200-kilometer long pipeline,» Serdyukov told business daily Vedomosti.
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