10:57 GMT18 September 2020
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    Earlier this week, Karlshamn Municipality in Sweden greenlighted the lease of a port in the city for storing pipes during the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

    The decision was surprising, taking into account the fact that previously the Swedish government stressed that the project could pose danger to the country’s political and military interests.

    According to the Board of Karlshamn AB, which manages the port, an agreement with the Dutch shipping company Wasco Coatings Europe BV guarantees that no Russian ships will be used for the project.

    At the same time, last year, the authorities of the Swedish Gotland Island refused to give Nord Stream 2 AG, the company building and operating the project, access to a port in Slite.

    An agreement on Nord Stream-2, involving the expansion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, was signed in early-September 2014, during the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Vladivostok. The project presumes building two pipeline strings, with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year, from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

    The Swedish government has long been opposing the project, and local media also contributes to the situation, fueling hysteria, said Alexander Grivach, deputy director of the National Energy Security Fund.

    "This is kind of an amusement for the Swedish media. They look for mythical Russian submarines or report that some power cable is used by Russia for radio intelligence. In 1970s and 1980s, when the first Soviet pipelines were built to Western Europe, there were serious discussions in certain media outlets that those pipelines could be used for a Russian tank attack. Of course, such fairytales are fun but absurd," Grivach told Radio Sputnik.

    However, according to the expert, now the situation can change and the "political phobias" over Russia-European energy cooperation will be overcome.

    The expert suggested that the decision by Karlshamn Municipality might have been dictated by economic interests.

    "Sweden knew all the advantages of such cooperation at the time when Nord Stream pipeline was built. The government used some political motives not to grant access to Swedish ports to store pipes. At the time, other European countries, including Germany and Finland, successfully replaced Sweden. Sweden now probably regrets those losses and doesn’t want them happen again due to the opposition from military officials and politicians," Grivach concluded.


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