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Social Democrats slam Nord Stream approval

AFP/The Local · 6 Nov 2009, 15:45

Published: 06 Nov 2009 15:45 GMT+01:00

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"The pipeline is not in Sweden's interests, especially considering the project's far-reaching consequences on the environment," Urban Ahlin and Anders Ygeman, two prominent Social Democrats, said in an open letter published in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper Friday.

"But it is undoubtedly in Russia's interests," they wrote, stressing the timing of the decision "suggests that the Swedish government has in a way" given in to Russia's "expressions of discontent."

Ahlin, who serves as the Social Democrats’ foreign affairs spokesperson, and Ygeman who chairs the Riksdag’s environmental committee, said approval of the project amounts to "selling out Swedish environmental interests to the benefit of Russian gas".

Sweden's approval came two weeks before an EU-Russia summit to take place in Stockholm and resolved what had become a dispute between Stockholm and Moscow.

The Scandinavian country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

After years of procrastination, Sweden and Finland gave breakthrough approvals to Nord Stream Thursday, allowing the pipeline to pass through their waters in the Baltic Sea, a crucial step for the project destined to supply Europe with Russian gas.

The $7.4 billion Nord Stream project, which is led by Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom in partnership with Germany's E.On Ruhrgas and BASF-Wintershall, will run under the Baltic Sea to bring gas from Russia to the European Union.

Story continues below…

The pipeline will link the Russian city of Vyborg and Greifswald in Germany over a distance of 1,220 kilometres, going under the Baltic Sea and passing through Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and German waters.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:35 November 6, 2009 by Re-Horakhty
Russia and Germany, need I say more……..The Viking years were not that great and they will never return. Sweden knows it place.
21:05 November 6, 2009 by tigger007
OOOOOH! that was too cold Re-Horakhty
08:30 November 7, 2009 by Marc the Texan
Unfortunately seems true.
14:37 November 7, 2009 by Mb 65
The EU is a glan you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Germany and France dictate to the EU so that they get what they want everytime.
11:43 November 8, 2009 by rybo1
Deal with Russia at your own risk. You may be sorry later.
22:51 November 8, 2009 by Alma
Carl Bildt has enormous private investments in Russia. I wonder if he had his hands in this decision.
14:28 November 9, 2009 by pintoflex
"Deal with Russia at your own risk. You may be sorry later."

whether or not sweden gone along with the project , it would not be the last time it will bend over for Russia's will.
20:42 November 18, 2009 by wdwizard
I wonder what's wrong with another line of gas supply to Europe? Do Europe prefer to freeze in winter when the next RUS-UKR confict arises?
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