Merkel Confirms EU Deal on Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

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"I firmly assume that the Nord Stream 2 project will be realised", a spokesman of the energy group said.

"Indeed, there has been an agreement on the gas directive".

European Union member states adopted a Franco-German compromise on Friday allowing Berlin to remain the lead negotiator with Russian Federation on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe.

For France, which relies more on nuclear energy than natural gas, the Nord Stream 2 project is not as critical as it is for Germany.

Steffen Ebert, Nord Stream 2 communications manager in Germany, told DW that European Union rule changes would not affect construction, which he says is well under way.

The Nord Stream 2 is a new undersea gas pipeline being built by Russia's energy firm Gazprom and backed by five European energy companies.

Any delay to Gazprom's push to complete construction of Nord Stream 2 in 2019 could weaken Moscow's hand in those negotiations.

But a French government source had earlier told German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung that Paris might do it due to "strategic problems" with Russian Federation.

European Union leaders recently agreed to aspire to "strategic autonomy" in foreign policy and military terms, amid Franco-German plans for closer defence cooperation.

Germany feared that would make the pipeline uneconomic and unviable.

Peskov accused Washington of "underhanded competition" by trying to encourage Europeans "to buy more expensive American gas". The agreement empowers Berlin as the key negotiator with Russian Federation on the pipeline project and guarantees that any rules will be applied by the "territory and territorial sea of the member state where the first interconnection point is located".

"If the project obstacles, to force Russia Gas through Ukraine to its terms and conditions, to pump up their Rates and uncertainties in legal things, then fold this number is likely to be", said Deputy foreign Minister Alexander Pankin, the news Agency Ria Novosti, according to without a country.

The European Parliament also opposes Nord Stream 2.

"It will challenge a certain number of project parameters which will have to provide transit guarantees via Ukraine as well as transit through Slovakia", an official said.

Other European companies involved in the project include the Anglo-Dutch Shell, Austria's OMV and France's Engie.

The resolution calls for the pipeline's cancellation and supports a multinational freedom of navigation in the Black Sea after Russia's aggression against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait.

"If obstacles to the project are being prepared to force Russian Federation to pump gas through Ukraine according to their conditions, their tariffs, and with uncertainties in legal matters, then this project is unlikely to work out", Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Pankin said on February 9. Gas is due to start arriving in Germany by the end of the year.

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