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Gotland rejects Russian pipeline

Updated onsdag 14 december 2016 kl 13.13
Published onsdag 14 december 2016 kl 13.01
Tommy Gardell: We will say no to leasing the port to the Nord Stream project
(1:37 min)
A map showing the existing Nord Stream pipeline. Nord Stream 2 will run parallel to it.
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A map showing the existing Nord Stream pipeline. Nord Stream 2 will run parallel to it. Credit: Henrik Montgomery / TT.
From left to right: Björn Jansson, president of Gotland Region; Per-Ola Mattsson, head of Karlshamn municipal council; Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.
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From left to right: Björn Jansson, president of Gotland Region; Per-Ola Mattsson, head of Karlshamn municipal council; Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Credit: Janerik Henriksson / TT.

Gotland Municipality has declined to lease the port of Slite to Russia's Gazprom to help with the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

News agency TT reports the chairman of the municipality's technical committee made the announcement on Wednesday. However, the committee will formally say no to the request on Thursday.

"There, we will say no to leasing the port to the Nord Stream project," said chairman Tommy Gardell.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a joint Russian-German project to build a natural gas pipeline that would pass through Swedish waters, near the island of Gotland.

The pipe would run some 1,200 km under the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast west of St. Petersburg and carry the fuel to northern Germany.

Security concerns had Sweden's government meeting with officials from Gotland and the town of Karlshamn, where another port is to be leased, on Tuesday.

Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said they could not stop the two municipalities from leasing their harbors to Gazprom though they strongly urged the municipalities to reconsider. Saying no though would lose the municipalities millions of kronor in potential revenue.

Gardell told TT that the meeting made Gotland rethink its position. 

"It's true that the information we received has been crucial for us. We can not make the kind of assessment that has been done by the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry and it is obvious that we must abide by their evaluation," Gardell told TT.

Officials from Karlshamn said they want more time to discuss the issue.

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