International

Germany approves resuming Russia gas pipeline work

The Russian pipe-laying ship "Fortuna" is seen in the Mecklenburg Bay ahead of the resumption of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction near Insel Poel, Germany, on January 14, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

German authorities on Friday gave immediate permission to resume work on a subsea pipeline bringing natural gas from Russia.

The decision by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency can be appealed, meaning there could be another halt to the construction on the Nord Stream 2 project, which has drawn major criticism from the United States, some other European countries and environmental groups.

The U.S. government has argued that the Baltic Sea pipeline would make Europe more dependent on Russian gas and hurt European energy security. The Kremlin has responded by accusing Washington of trying to promote its own liquefied natural gas sales.

The Russian state-controlled natural gas company, Gazprom, has positioned a ship to resume work on the multi-billion pipeline, which was suspended after a Swiss firm pulled its vessels out of the project amid threats of U.S. sanctions. Because the Russian ship is of a different type than the Swiss vessels, Germany had to issue fresh authorisation. Gazprom says 6% of the pipeline, or about 150 kilometres (93 miles), still needs to be completed.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 5:46:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/germany-approves-resuming-russia-gas-pipeline-work/article33580191.ece

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