Denmark seeks to change law on pipelines amid Nord Stream 2 divisions
Denmark's government is proposing amending legislation to allow it to ban pipeline projects on the grounds of foreign and security policy due to concerns raised by Russian efforts to build a disputed gas pipeline through Danish waters.
The small Nordic country has been caught in a geopolitical conflict as Russian state gas exporter Gazprom and its partners behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline seek permission to pump more gas to Europe via the Baltic Sea to Germany, according to Reuters.
"We want to have the possibility to say yes or no from a perspective of security and foreign policy," the minister of energy and climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt, told Reuters, adding that it was currently only possible to veto such projects on the grounds of environmental concerns.
The EU is divided between eastern European and Baltic Sea countries that see a new pipeline carrying Russian gas across the Baltic making the EU a hostage to Moscow - and those in northern Europe, most especially the main beneficiary Germany, for whom the economic benefits take priority.
Read alsoLithuania joins Ukraine, Poland’s fight against Nord Stream-2Denmark and Sweden earlier this year requested that the European Commission intervene in Nord Stream 2 before the two states agree on permits for the pipeline to pass through their waters. EU diplomats said there was little scope for either nation to block the plan.
Nord Stream 2 earlier this week officially delivered its application to Danish authorities which now has to decide on permits for it to pass through Danish waters. This assessment will be made on the basis of existing rules, the ministry said.