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On the way of the "Nord Stream - 2" there is only one obstacle left

On the way of the "Nord Stream - 2" there is only one obstacle left

7 2018 June LJ cover – На пути «Северного потока – 2» осталось только одно препятствие
Tags: Sweden, Nord Stream, Europe, Russia, Economics, Analytics, Gas, Denmark

The Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline has received the most important document. Sweden, famous for its search for "Russian submarines," could not find any arguments for refusing permission to lay a gas pipeline through its territorial waters. Now the word after Denmark. What will happen if this country does begin to obstruct the key Russian gas pipeline?

The Swedish government approved the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas main, the country's Industry and Innovation Minister Mikael Damberg said. Made this country clearly without much pleasure. According to the Swedish minister, despite the critical attitude towards the construction of the gas pipeline, the Swedish government could not prevent its construction. Where did this critical attitude come from and why, Damberg did not specify. However, do not go to the fortuneteller - it was an excuse for the United States.

The process of obtaining permits for the construction of a gas pipeline identical to the "North Stream - 1" pipeline this time is difficult due to the apparent political interference from overseas. Gazprom still recently expected to get all necessary permits in the first quarter of 2018 and start construction of the pipeline in order to complete it by the end of 2019. But foreigners are delaying the process.

Sweden received an application for permission in the autumn of 2016, that is, it took her more than a year and a half to make a decision. However, it is not surprising, considering that the issue was considered by 69 Swedish authorities, who could not come up with a reason for disapproval within the law. Nord Stream 2 AG had to constantly send additional materials on issues that, in the opinion of the Swedish side, required clarification.

Sweden became the third country to issue a permit for the construction of the Nord Stream - 2. Previously, they were issued by Germany and Finland. Only Denmark remained. And this is perhaps the most unpredictable variable in such a simple, seemingly, equation, given the experience of the first "Nord Stream". From Denmark, you can quite expect an unpleasant surprise. The country stands at the fork.

"Denmark can issue a permit in accordance with the Danish law, which deals with the implementation of infrastructure projects in accordance with their assessment of environmental safety, technological standards, etc.," says deputy general director of the National Energy Security Fund Alexei Grivach. This was done in due time with regard to the "Nord Stream - 1".

"The second option is that Denmark can take advantage of the amendments that were adopted by the Danish Parliament (in November 2017 - a comment VZGLYAD) and block the issuance of construction permits in territorial waters for political reasons. In Denmark, unlike Sweden, such legislation exists, "Grivach said.

Denmark, in fact, allowed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make a decision on the expediency of laying a pipeline through territorial waters, transferring a purely ecological issue to the political plane. The Foreign Ministry can easily prohibit the construction of a pipe, under the cover of national security (a pipe with gas is confused with the Russian landing).

Danes have a serious choice. "Refusal of permission will mean stepping on their closest partner and neighbor and such an important member of the EU as Germany, which supports the Nord Stream - 2." And issuing permits will mean that Denmark is going against the US, which actively lobby for any difficulties for the Russian pipeline project, "the source said.

But the Danes will not be able to put a cross on the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline in any case. It will be necessary to extend the pipeline route a little, nothing more. And an alternative route has already been prepared, just in case. It will go not through the territorial waters of Denmark, but through its economic zone. "And here Denmark can not do anything and will have to work within the framework of the legislation and issue this permission," Grivach said.

"The piquancy of the situation is that when the project of the Nord Stream - 1, which is essentially identical to the Nord Stream project - 2, was discussed, it was the Danish authorities who asked the operator Nord Stream to choose the route through the territorial waters, and not through the economic zone, as (this) caused less inconvenience and had less impact on shipping, "adds the gas expert. The decision is expected in the coming weeks.

At the same time, the last attempts to slow down the construction of the "North Stream - 2" are done by Ukraine, initiating the seizure of Gazprom's assets in Europe. So far, however, nothing critical has happened and it does not affect the project of the Nord Stream - 2. In the end, the government of the Russian Federation is ready even to consider the issue of Gazprom's support in connection with the seizure of its assets. And if the construction is somehow threatened by this, then Gazprom can take an extreme step - and give back the debt of Naftogaz of 2,6 billion dollars of debt before the decision of the Court of Appeal comes out. Gazprom appealed, as it does not agree with the decision of the Stockholm Arbitration, which awarded him such a fine.

Olga Samofalova
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