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Foreign minister to chair pipeline discussions amid port concerns

Published tisdag 13 december 2016 kl 10.58
Mayor: National security comes ahead of local interests
(1:33 min)
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and workers on the original Nord Stream gas line.
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and workers on the original Nord Stream gas line. Credit: Anders Wiklund and Sören Andersson / TT.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström will meet politicians from Gotland and Karlshamn on Tuesday to discuss the divisive Russian gas pipeline project, Nord Stream 2.

The pipeline will transport natural gas from northern Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine and Russia, and pass through Swedish waters.

The project wants to use the port of Slite, in the island of Gotland, and Karlshamn, on Sweden's southern coast, to store pipes but some politicians and defence officials have raised security concerns about a Russian company having access to it.

It is the local councils in Gotland and Karlshamn who will decide whether to give the approval for the port to be used. The Tuesday meeting chaired by Wallström has been called so the government can give information to local officials.

Wallström’s government has previously said it does not support the building of the pipeline, but it has no legal way to stop it.

Local politicians, however, have expressed support for opportunities offered by the project, such as hefty earnings from renting out the ports.

Lars Grönstedt, the senior adviser for Nord Stream 2 in Sweden wrote in Dagens Industri that if approval is not granted to use Slite, the project will still continue by using a different port for pipe storage.

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