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Riksdag debates new Russian gas pipeline

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Riksdag debates new Russian gas pipeline
The first Nord Stream pipeline was laid in 2011. Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP/TT
08:57 CEST+02:00
The Swedish parliament was to debate Russian plans to lay an additional gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, the Nord Stream 2, on Thursday.

Russian company OAO Gazprom is the majority shareholder in Nord Stream, whose first pipeline – which runs from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea – was laid in 2011.

The Nord Stream 2 would lie parallel to the previous line and increase capacity from 55 billion cubic metres of gas per year to 110 billion cubic meters.

If and when construction on the second line can get started is not yet clear. Critics in the Riksdag, like Christian Democrat Mikael Oscarsson, say the Swedish Government should stop it from happening.

“Sweden has the starting point of the UN Charter, where the ongoing war in Ukraine has more weight more than maritime law,” he told Sveriges Radio.

“Sweden should take the lead and not rely on the EU but make decisions for itself and say thanks, but no thanks,” he added.

On his recent visit to Stockholm, US Vice President Joe Biden also declared Nord Stream 2 to be undesirable, calling it a “bad deal” for Europe.

A request to build the pipeline, which would be in international waters but within Sweden's economic zone, is expected to be made to the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications (Näringsdepartmentet) within a week.

According to Swedish and international law the pipeline, which has caused concern in some quarters, must meet a series of requirements regarding among other things the impact on the environment.

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