The Swedish government has approved Nord Stream’s application to install two gas pipelines inside Sweden’s economic zone in the Baltic Sea. The move comes despite rising concerns about Europe’s over reliance on Russian oil and the Kremlin’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine.
Sweden’s Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Mikael Damberg said that the government’s “judgement was that we were not able to say no”.
The Russian backed Nord Stream 2 project will bring gas supplied by Gazprom, directly to Western Europe. Russia’s Gazprom, is on the US and Canadian sanctions lists for its involvement in the Russian invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.
Critics say Nord Stream 2 will increase European dependence on Russia gas and will further reward state-owned energy firms like Gazprom, as Moscow’s threats against western security and democracy continue to escalate. Germany’s former Chancellor and close friend of Vladimir Putin, Gerhard Schröder, is Nord Stream’s CEO.
Nord Stream 2 is a $11 billion, 1,225-kilometer pipeline linking Russia with Germany across the Baltic Sea bed.
Russia President, Vladimir Putin has said that Russia supports “the implementation of this project, which is undoubtedly absolutely free from politics. This is a purely economic and moreover purely commercial project,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
Both Lithuania and Poland have constructed LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) Terminals and have started accepting shipments of LNG from the United States and are seeking for other alternative sources, including Canada, which has abundant supplies of natural gas.
Sources: RFE/RL, Radio Sweden, AP