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Pipeline 'negative' for Swedish defence policy

Published onsdag 14 december 2016 kl 09.21
Nord Stream 2
Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström at a press conference after the meeting with local polticians about the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Credit: Janerik Henriksson/TT

At a meeting with local politicians on Tuesday the government warned of the consequences of allowing Russian businesses into Swedish ports.

Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist took part in the meeting with local politicians from the island of Gotland and the southern town of Karlshamn to discuss the impact of the proposed Russian-German natural gas pipeline. The Nord Stream 2 project wants to use the ports of Slite on the island of Gotland and Karlshamn on the south coast for storing pipes.

"The government believes the use of the ports in question would affect Swedish defence policy interest negatively," Wallström said at a Tuesday evening press conference.

The Foreign Minister stressed that the government cannot prevent the local councils from renting out the ports, but said there would be a review into whether the constitution needs to be changed so as to allow the state greater possibilities to protect national interests.

"If Nord Stream 2 is carried out according to plan that will have consequences for Swedish defence planning," said Hultqvist.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said the government would consider compensating the local councils should they decide not to rent out the ports.

"We are prepared to have a discussion with them about economic compensation," Löfven told TT news agency.

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