Denmark has decided to give permission for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, but only if Russia guarantees to continue gas transit to Europe through Ukraine, Deutsche Welle reports.
"In this regard, the Ukrainian matter is crucial," Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Thursday, April 12, in Berlin after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Rasmussen noted that the Danish government had not yet given its consent to the construction of a gas pipeline in the country’s exclusive economic zone. Danish law requires that the government "take into account geopolitical framework conditions” when making such a decision. This aspect is now being studied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
The Danish Prime Minister has said it is clear Nord Stream 2 is not only a commercial project, but also a political one. Its construction concerns not only Denmark; with this in mind, Rasmussen said he is glad that Chancellor Merkel made an unequivocal statement on the topic on April 10.
On Monday, following a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Merkel said that implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is possible only under the condition that Ukraine continues to play a role as a transit country for the delivery of Russian gas to Europe. According to Merkel, "political factors" must be taken into account when evaluating the project.
Germany has already issued all necessary permits for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Further permits are required from Finland, Denmark and Sweden.
The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two gas pipelines, with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany.
Petro Poroshenko called the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline a “political bribe” in exchange for loyalty to Russia.