05:42 GMT +322 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Suspending the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project at its current stage would be impossible, Alexander Neu, a member of the Defence Committee of the German parliament’s lower house, said on Monday, adding that the project boosted security and stability of gas transit to Germany.

    "I think that it is already impossible to stop the implementation of the project. This is good … This is an absolutely legitimate bilateral project that is being implemented … So we can say that [the project] will increase the security and stability of gas supply to Germany," Neu said at a roundtable at the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency.

    READ MORE: Russia to Pick China as Main Gas Consumer If EU Fails to Cooperate — Wintershall

    According to Neu, picking gas transit though Ukraine over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as some of the project's opponents have been calling for, would not change the fact that it would still be Russian gas being supplied.

    Besides Ukraine's exclusion from the project, the opponents of Nord Stream 2 have also been dissatisfied with the fact that the pipeline is being built on sand, which, according to them, is an unstable ground, Neu noted.

    "However, no one, even the greens [members of environmentalist groups], take this remark seriously. Similar projects have been implemented, it is possible," the Bundestag member added.

    This comes after earlier in the day, the Russian Kommersant newspaper reported that the recent amendments to the EU gas directive would result in the gas pipeline being underutilized for at least several years of operation. According to the newspaper, the amendments, in particular, prescribe that not only the European Commission but also a committee of representatives from all EU countries will have to give consent to exempt the project from EU norms, which would make the procedure lengthy and difficult, thereby resulting in the pipeline’s unutilized capacity.

    Last week, representatives of the Council of the European Union, European Commission and European Parliament reached an agreement on amendments to the EU gas directive that would allow to extend internal EU market regulations to third countries' pipelines, transporting gas to the bloc. This would include Nord Stream 2.

    Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually to the European Union. The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe and opposed by the others who raise concerns over the alleged danger of Europe's dependence on Russia and the subsequent diminished transit role of Ukraine.


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