23:25 GMT +319 March 2018
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    Council of EU to Discuss Mandate for Talks on Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Tuesday

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    The Council of the European Union on Tuesday will discuss the approval of a mandate for the European Commission to hold negotiations with Russia on building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the meeting agenda, the council working group's meeting will be focused among other issues on the "recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations on an agreement" between Brussels and Moscow concerning the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

    A source familiar with the situation told Sputnik in late June that the European Union's member countries would not decide on issuing the mandate in the summer and the discussion would continue in September. Viktor Zubkov, the chair of the board of directors at Gazprom, a Russian company responsible for the project, also said that a decision on the negotiating mandate was expected by September.

    The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom with France's Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, Royal Dutch Shell, Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing Ukraine. The pipeline is planned for 2018.

    In order to make the project comply with EU regulations, the European Commission has requested the negotiating mandate, which should be approved by the EU member states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that such a mandate was unnecessary, but added that some legal issues should be cleared up.


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