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Russia to launch Nord Stream 2 despite Danish hurdles & US threats to derail project

Russia to launch Nord Stream 2 despite Danish hurdles & US threats to derail project
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Denmark would eventually provide the necessary permits for completing the gas pipeline from Russia to Europe despite aggressive US attempts to block the project.

The undersea pipeline passes through the territorial waters of  Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Only Danish authorities have yet to allow the pipeline in its territorial waters.

The project is being implemented under an avalanche of criticism from Washington. The US has persistently slammed the EU over excessive reliance on Russian energy supplies, while accusing Moscow of abusing its dominant position in the European energy market.

Also on rt.com Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to save EU up to €8 billion a year

“We believe that they should give their consent. There is no obstacle to it, and the Nord Stream 1 is the proof, since this project was implemented successfully,” Novak told journalists at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, referring to the original pipeline that started operating in November 2011.

“Nord Stream 2 does not differ in any way in terms of the environmental requirements, route passing and permit issuing,” Novak added.

The minister also said that Russian authorities are aware of all the hard efforts taken by the US to stop the project, which is vital for Europe.

The pipeline is being constructed by Russian energy giant Gazprom in close cooperation with five European energy majors – Germany’s energy firms Wintershall and Uniper, French multinational Engie, British-Dutch oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell, and Austrian energy corporation OMV. The gas route, which runs under the Baltic Sea, is set to double the existing pipeline’s capacity of 55 billion cubic meters annually.

Washington has repeatedly attempted to block the joint enterprise, threatening corporations involved in Nord Stream 2 with sanctions. However, most of those efforts have failed so far, as investors refused to leave the project.

US political pressure on Denmark may be the key reasons for delays on completing the pipeline, according to project chairman and former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who has also attended the forum in Russia’s St. Petersburg.

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“Nord Stream 2 is a project that can be put into service at the end of the year. But there is a problem, it’s obvious – Danish politics. This is linked to US political pressure,” Schroeder said.

The former politician stressed that American liquified natural gas is far more expensive than Russian natural gas, and thus cannot be a good alternative for European consumers. According to Schroeder, looming elections in Denmark offer hope that Nord Stream 2 will be finished on time.

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