18:49 GMT17 June 2021
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    The Danish government has proposed amending legislation to ban the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to run through the country’s waters, citing security and environmental concerns.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Igor Neverov, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second European Department, said that there were neither legal nor economic reasons why Denmark should refuse to let the pipeline pass.

    “Even the European Commission is taking a rather unbiased view of this issue. We believe that Denmark’s opposition to building the pipeline in its territorial waters has no legal or economic grounds. It is a mutually-rewarding project anyone, including Denmark, would benefit from,” Neverov said.

    He added that Russia was keeping a close eye on the situation and hoped that “reason will ultimately prevail.”

    Earlier, Reuters reported, citing Denmark’s Minister of Energy and Climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt that the Danish government wants to change the law of the country in order to reserve the right to prohibit the construction of Nord Stream 2 over political and security concerns.

    "We want to have the possibility to say yes or no from a perspective of security and foreign policy," Lilleholt told Reuters, adding that it was currently only possible to veto such projects on the grounds of environmental concerns.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Roman Tkachuk, a senior analyst with Alpari Investment Company, said that while the European Commission has no serious objections to the constriction of Nord Stream 2, some countries keep trying to derail the project.

    “As the EU’s informal leader and a country the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be running to, Germany has apparently convinced the European Commission to tone down its criticism of the project. However, Poland, some other countries and now Denmark too, are against it,” Tkachuk said.

    He added that because unlike German and Dutch companies, Denmark and Poland have no stakes in the pipeline and, therefore will have to go along, they are now trying to hit the brakes on Nord Stream 2.

    Tkachuk did not rule out that the Danes might be trying to secure better terms for themselves.

    "Turkey and Germany are now actively vying to the role of the main hub for Russian gas deliveries to Europe. The country, which secures this status, will be able to dictate its terms to everyone else, that’s why they show that they are ready to fight,” Roman Tkachuk continued.

    The Nord Stream 2, a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom with France's Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, Royal Dutch Shell, Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, involves the construction of two pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas to pump Russian natural gas to Europe via the Baltic Sea to Germany.

    The new pipeline will be built next to the original Nord Stream pipeline.

    The Nord Stream 2 project’s implementation requires that Denmark, along with Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, grant permits for the pipeline construction.

    The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) earlier said that it had received a pertinent request and will consider it shortly.

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    Nord Stream 2 AG Starts Environmental Assessment of Pipeline Project in Russia
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    bargaining, proposed ban, gas pipeline, politics, Nord Stream 2, Alpari, Danish Ministry of Energy and Climate, ENGIE Company, Wintershall, European Commission, Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, Igor Neverov, Lars Christian Lilleholt, Russia, Denmark
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