Nord Stream. Photo: Eleonor Svensson/SR Gotland

Nord Stream Gets OK from Denmark

Updated 20:30

The Danish energy agency announced on Tuesday that Denmark has agreed to let the Russian Nord Stream gas pipeline to Germany run through Danish waters.

According to Sweden's Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, the Danish yes will not affect the Swedish decision process.

Carlgren says that they will "of course look very carefully at how the Danes have judged the overall environmental consequences of the project", but that Sweden will make an independent judgement, based on Swedish environmental laws.

The Nord Stream pipe line is planned to connect Vyborg in Russia with Greifswald in Germany and supply Western Europe with gas from Russia, without having to go through transit countries such as Ukraine. The 1220-kilometre pipeline would run under the Baltic Sea, and - in addition to the Russian and German host countries - it would also cross Finnish, Swedish and Danish waters.

The Danes have now said yes and the Finns have earlier announced they will decide in September-October, but so far the Swedish Government has refused to mention any dates.

Tuesday was the deadline for another round of comments to the project from the eleven affected Swedish authorities. Of them, the Environmental Protection Agency says the Nord Stream company still has not come up with an analysis of the environmental consequences of the more easterly routing of the pipeline, which preferred by the Agency.

With the Danish Decision now being taken, pressure increases on the Swedish Government, according to Anders Ygeman, the opposition Social Democratic environment spokesperson.

"Unfortunately, the government has not demanded an investigation into a land based alternative route which will make it harder for the government to say no to this project," Ygeman told Swedish Radio News. The Social Democrats are against the Nord Stream Project.

Asked if it still is possible for Sweden to say no to the project, Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren replied: "Obviously, if the environmental consequences are sufficiently ominous, Sweden will always have that option."

While supported by Germany and Russia, the project is criticised by the Baltic states, who say that it has been designed to specifically circumvent their region.

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