Barroso: EU to Monitor Baltic Pipeline
by AFX News Limited
March 30, 2007
The European Commission will closely monitor the construction of a Baltic Sea gas pipeline to make sure it doesn't disturb the fragile environment, President Jose Manuel Barroso said Friday.
The pipeline will deliver Russian natural gas straight to Germany without
passing through Poland or the Baltic states, who have reacted angrily to the
"It is a very important issue for the entire Baltic region," Barroso said.
"The European Commission follows this project very carefully to make sure it is
performed according to environmental regulations."
Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas underscored the dangers
associated with the pipeline construction.
"The amounts of chemical weapons buried in the Baltic Sea during World War
II and the scale of the possible outcome if anything should go wrong with this
pipeline makes this issue very sensitive," he said. Sweden and Finland have
expressed similar concerns.
Nord Stream AG, the Russian-German consortium building the 750-mile
pipeline, is conducting an environmental impact study expected to be presented
later this year.
Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus expressed hope that the European
Commission would launch its own investigation of the pipeline's possible
During his meetings with Lithuanian officials, Barroso also welcomed the
Baltic state's plans to build a new nuclear plant that would replace the
existing plant in Ignalina.
Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, a Latvian, has criticized the project
as being more political than economic.
Barroso praised Lithuania for being the first member state to ratify the EU
constitution, which is now in limbo after being voted down in France and the
Copyright 2007 AFX News Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Nord Stream Pipeline
Nord Stream AG
Vyborg, Russia to Greifswald, Germany Russian Federation