Baltic states and Sweden wary of Russian gas pipeline

Sweden and three of its Baltic neighbours were closely following plans to build a second underwater pipeline to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany, the Swedish and Baltic foreign ministers said Tuesday.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is "an economic project that has security policy and other implications," Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said after talks with her counterparts from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

She said Sweden has "a limited role" as the pipeline "doesn't pass our territory but our economic zone," adding that Sweden would abide by its own laws and international laws.

The European Commission is soon due to present an analysis of the project against the backdrop of the EU's energy union and efforts to avoid too much dependence on one supplier or energy source.

"In the Baltics we don’t like Nord Stream. Period," Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said.

He said the concerns were due to the fact that Moscow has in the past used energy as a political and geopolitical tool.

A few years ago, a 1,200-kilometre underwater pipeline went online that transports natural gas from Russia to Germany. It is operated by Nord Stream, a Russian-German joint venture.

The meeting in Stockholm was held to mark the 25th anniversary of restored diplomatic relations between Sweden and the three Baltic states after they regained independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The three Baltic countries have since joined the EU as well as the military alliance NATO.

 

Last update: Tue, 30/08/2016 - 17:11
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