Merkel votes for Nord Stream

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has once again defended Nord Stream, a natural gas pipeline that will run along the Baltic Sea bed from Russia to Germany. The Chancellor considers it to be strategically important for Europe's energy security.

Speaking to journalists at the European Council’s Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg, Merkel said it is pointless to discuss whether the project is viable.

From the very start, the project has met with fierce opposition from environmentalists.

Russia’s energy giant Gazprom is the primary stakeholder in Nord Stream, while German companies E.ON, Ruhrgas and Wintershall share control over the rest.

Construction of the pipeline is scheduled to start in 2010.