Lithuanian energy minister: many countries take tough stand on Nord Stream 2
More and more EU countries in talks on a mandate for European Commission negotiations with Russia on construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline are adhering to a tough position and maintaining tough demands, Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaichiunas told BNS.
At a meeting of the EU's Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council in Luxembourg, Lithuania reiterated that it perceives of the expansion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline linking Russia and Germany as "a political project that will have, according to preliminary estimations, a negative effect on the goals that we have set for the Energy Union."
"We had a wider circle of EU member states that spoke out fairly forcefully or at least supported a European Commission mandate while at the same time affirming that they want more clear-cut answers to the questions that have been raised. Among these states are Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Cyprus and several other countries," he said.
Lithuania supports the EC's goal of beginning talks, emphasizing that a pledge that the project will be subject to EU law is necessary. A second condition is that the project must not cause harm to the EU's domestic energy market, its functioning. Lithuania is requesting that the European Commission carry out "exhaustive legal, economic and even strategic evaluations," he said.
On Monday, EC Vice President Maros Sefcovic said on Twitter that the EU Council supported the European Commission's approach seeking a mandate for negotiations with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Gazprom and its partners plan to begin implementation of the 10-billion euro Nord Stream 2 pipeline project in April 2018.