Baltics, Poland Want EU to Seek Nord Stream Alternatives
by AFX News Limited
July 24, 2007
The governments of the Baltic states and
Poland will ask the European Commission to study alternatives to the Nord Stream
gas pipeline that is intended to go under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany,
Lithuanian Economics Minister Vytas Navickas said.
Gazprom holds a 51-percent interest in the Nord Stream joint venture, and BASF AG
and E.ON AG hold 24.5 percent each.
Navickas said: "The text of the document is basically approved it should be
signed and sent to the European Commission this week."
He added: "We expect the answer from the commission this year and believe
that the reply will be positive."
Construction of part of the pipeline has already begun in Russia, but the
consortium is awaiting environmental assessments from the affected countries.
Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland, as well as countries such as Sweden,
have expressed disquiet about the project from the outset, arguing that it poses
an ecological risk.
Navickas said that a new EU feasibility study could highlight the advantages
of building the pipeline on land.
"This is not just about the environment, which of course is very important,"
"There are plans to build separate pipeline to Latvia and Kaliningrad in the
future, so maybe it's better to reconsider the route of the pipeline now, before
it enters the sea.
"If we had a study, we could compare and discuss things based on arguments,"
The pipeline consortium and German officials say it will undergo a rigorous
approval process and comply with all the relevant EU environmental rules.
The 4.8 billion eur pipeline is expected to transport 57 billion cubic meters of gas
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Nord Stream Pipeline
Nord Stream AG
Vyborg, Russia to Greifswald, Germany Russian Federation