Denmark proposes law change to block Russian gas to Europe
The European Commission has refused to comment on a proposal by the Danish government to modify the country’s laws allowing it to block the construction of a Russian natural gas pipeline to Europe.
Earlier this week, a bill was put to the Danish parliament to make sure foreign, and security policy is considered when assessing the approval of projects such as Nord Stream-2.
According to the Danish energy ministry, the present regulations do not allow Denmark to decide on permits for transit pipelines to pass through Danish waters due to foreign policy considerations.
“We want to have the possibility to say yes or no from a perspective of security and foreign policy,” said Energy and Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt, adding that it was the only possible way to veto such projects due to environmental concerns.
Denmark’s right-wing minority government will reportedly negotiate with other parties to win support for the proposal.
The Nord Stream- 2 pipeline aims to double the existing capacity delivering natural gas from Russia to Germany and Northern Europe under the Baltic Sea.
The pipeline bypasses Ukraine, which the Kremlin says proved to be unreliable for both the exporter and the importer. The gas transit contract between Moscow and Kiev expires in December 2019 and has not yet been extended.
Last month, EU officials announced plans to enter security negotiations with Moscow over the project, saying the bloc no longer had legal grounds to stop it.
The move followed years of delays over EU concerns the project would strengthen Russia’s dominance of the European gas market and minimize Ukraine’s participation.
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