Environmental lawyers in push to stop gas pipeline in Finland

Sergio Conner
May 18, 2018

She explained the U.S. position as follows: the construction of the gas pipeline will strengthen Europe's dependence on the Russian natural gas. She has specified that this means that any pipeline construction project in the world could potentially be under sanctions.

The Minister of economy of Germany Peter Altmaier commented on criticism of the United States of gas pipeline Nord stream-2 and promised to consider Ukraine's interests during its construction.

The US push came a day before Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks that will touch on Nord Stream 2, as well as the US decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

The $11 billion project is planned to carry 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually 1,230 kilometers under the Baltic Sea from Russian Federation to northern Germany after it becomes operational in early 2020.

Altmaier has said he is optimistic that a "substantial" amount of gas will continue to flow through Ukraine when the Baltic pipeline starts operating.

Altmaier, however, attributed USA opposition to its desire to increase its own shale gas exports.

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The US threats to Nord Stream 2, which has split eastern and western European Union states, could impact companies in Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

She also noted that the U.S. Congress has given Trump the power to impose sanctions on a number of Russian energy projects, and companies involved in such projects carry the risk of incurring U.S. sanctions.

The Nord Stream 2 project has said it will tap banks for financing in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early next year. The pipeline, to be built by 2022, is aimed at reducing reliance on Russian gas.

It added the national permitting procedures in the other three countries along the route - Russia, Sweden and Denmark - are "proceeding as planned".

Gazprom's Western partners are energy companies Uniper, Wintershall, Engie, Austria's OMV and Anglo-Dutch group Shell.

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