Senate committee to consider resolution against Nord Stream 2 pipeline


It is believed that the amendments in question mainly target the Russian pipeline project Nord Stream 2.

"There was indeed an agreement which was only possible thanks to close cooperation between France and Germany", German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin when asked about Nord Stream 2.

According to the German broadcaster, after fierce USA messages, an important vote in the European Union is up on Friday.

Germany had counted on France, as well as Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, and the Netherlands to block it. Eastern European, Nordic and Baltic Sea countries view the 1,225 km (760 mile) pipeline as holding the EU hostage to Moscow, while those in northern Europe, especially Germany, prioritize the economic benefits.

The EU rule changes would also bar suppliers from operating their own pipelines.

Merkel herself spoke more softly on Thursday.

The draft compromise sought to tackle concerns over Ukraine saying: "We consider a (gas rules) directive in this spirit indispensable for a fruitful discussion on the future gas transit through Ukraine".

German officials were keen Friday to downplay suggestions of a Franco-German rift, arguing that Paris and Berlin have a strong relationship that allows them to resolve differences.

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Nord Stream 2 is already being built, with pipe-laying in the Gulf of Finland. This could have consequences for Nord Stream 2. "Now that there's a compromise, this will one way or another reinforce the commission", a diplomat from one anti-Nord Stream 2 European Union country said.

Nord Stream 2 is to concentrate 70 percent of Russian gas sales to the European Union in Germany.

France's decision aligns it more closely with critics of the project, which say it bolsters Europe's reliance on Russian energy and bypasses key partners such as Ukraine. Previously, the EU States had agreed on a compromise, after the above Changes to the EU Gas Directive, stricter requirements for the project decided.

"There is no French-German crisis", the spokesman added.

Grenell previously made headlines in Germany when he warned companies involved in Nord Stream 2 that they could face United States sanctions if they didn't pull out of the project. "We are asking that there are guarantees for the security of Europe and for the security and stability of Ukraine".

But US thinking on the pipeline is shared by senior figures in Merkel's party despite the power of the Russo-German business lobby in Berlin.

France's foreign ministry said in a statement: "France has been, for several months, the target of repeated, baseless attacks and outrageous statements. If the AFET report is adopted, for sure it would be symbolically important but it can not stop the implementation of Nord Stream-2 as the Parliament's approval (or lack thereof) is not needed", Yafimava said.