BERLIN, Oct.26 (Reuters) – Allowing Nord Stream 2 to pump Russian gas to Germany will not threaten supplies to the European Union, Germany’s Economy Ministry said on Tuesday, removing a major hurdle for the contested gas pipeline.
While the pipeline is ready to start operations, it has yet to be certified by the Federal Network Agency of Germany and the ministry’s supply analysis is a key requirement for the regulator to continue this process.
“In its analysis, the Federal Ministry of the Economy concludes that the granting of the certification does not threaten the security of gas supply to the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union,” the ministry said. in a press release.
He said he submitted his analysis to the regulator following discussions with neighboring EU countries. Italy, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all had the opportunity to consult, he added.
The German regulator has until early January to certify the pipeline but could make its decision earlier. Once his recommendation is made, he turns to the European Commission, which has two more months to respond. Read more
Europe’s most controversial energy project, led by Russian gas company Gazprom (GAZP.MM), has met resistance from the United States and Ukraine, among others, who claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin could use it as a tool to achieve independent political goals and bypass Ukraine as a gas transit route.
The pipeline has grown in importance as Europe faces a gas shortage that has pushed prices to record highs this month.
The Kremlin has denied that Russia is suspending supplies in order to push for early regulatory approval for Nord Stream 2.
Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Christoph Steitz; edited by David Evans and Bill Berkrot
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