Russian-led consortium Nord Stream is expected to apply to the government for approval for the pipeline in the near future.
But Carlgren rejected the allegations of cowardice leveled at him by opposition politicians in the course of Friday’s parliamentary debate.
“Any advance political statements we were to make could be used as a basis for a future appeal of the government’s decision,” said Carlgren.
Social Democratic environmental spokesman Anders Ygeman said Carlgren was hiding behind formalities.
Carlgren however insisted that Sweden would be better advised to follow the letter of the law when stressing the importance of protecting the marine environment of the Baltic Sea.