Sergei Ivanov (left) and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt

Concerns Over Russia’s Baltic Pipeline

Visiting Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov promised here in Stockholm Monday that a planned gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea will be built in an environmentally responsible way.

The proposed pipeline, which is to be built under the seabed to link Russia’s natural gas reserves with German markets, has been criticised by Swedish officials. Former Social Democrat Prime Minister Göran Persson has said the project could set off a “major environmental disturbance”.

Mikael Odenberg, Defence Minister in the new center-right government, says they have some concerns about the plan, and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has said Sweden will demand a study of the environmental effects.

The 1100 kilometer long pipeline is scheduled to start operation in 2010.

The project was discussed Monday at a meeting with foreign ministers from the Nordic countries and the Baltic republics on the eve of the Nordic Council meeting in Copenhagen. 

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