Denmark will refer to the European Commission the thorny issue of Russia’s application for permission lay a gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, danish The Lokal reported on April 10, 2017.
Denmark can make it more difficult for Russia to lay the Nord Stream gas pipe in the Baltic Sea, but cannot completely prevent it.
The government will now send Russia’s application for permission to lay the pipe to the European Commission in Brussels.
The government has also secured parliamentary support for a law change which would give Denmark more geopolitical and national security policy leeway should the case be returned.
But Denmark’s realistic chances of, it wishes to do so, blocking the construction of the Russian pipeline, which will run from the Russian city of Vyborg near the Finnish border through the Baltic Sea to Greifswald in Germany, are low.
Russia was granted permission to build the Nord Stream pipeline through the Baltic Sea in 2009, when its relations with the EU were significantly better.
Denmark’s government agreed at that time to allow the Russians to lay the pipeline through Danish territorial waters near the island of Bornholm.
An application to add a 2nd pipeline alongside the 1st was submitted by the Russian government last week.
Concerns about the pipe have also surfaced in neighbouring Sweden, where regional government referred the issue of leasing a port for the construction of the pipe to the central government.
The pipeline, which would be 1,224 km long, would have the capacity to supply gas to 26 million European homes.
More than half of Nord Stream is owned by Gazprom, with German, French and Dutch energy companies also holding shares.
Fears that the pipeline could be used be Russia to exert political pressure on the EU and Ukraine are part of the cause of tensions over its building.
Meanwhile, Ukraine is also opposed to the pipeline, since it stands to lose significant income on importing Russian gas should the pipeline allow this to be transported with going through Ukraine.