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Russia-led Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline Gets First Permit In Finland

Finland granted on Thursday a permit to Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 to use the Finnish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for the construction of the natural gas pipeline planned to ship Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea.

The Nord Stream 2 project that has troubled Europe and EU member states over the implications of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom gaining even more foothold on the European gas market needs to obtain another permit in Finland—for the construction and operation of the planned pipeline.

“The second permit is granted according to the Water Act and a decision is expected to be made within the next weeks,” the pipeline company Nord Stream 2 AG said on Thursday.

“The Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland is processing Nord Stream 2’s application for a permit under the Water Act regarding the construction and operation of the pipeline. The processing of the construction permit application will include a detailed environmental impact assessment pursuant to the Water Act,” the Finnish government said.

Apart from a second Finnish permit, Nord Stream 2 has yet to obtain all permits for the pipeline project in Russia, Sweden, and Denmark. Those permitting procedures are proceeding as planned, Nord Stream 2 AG said today.

At the end of last month, Germany approved the construction and operation of Nord Stream 2 in its territorial waters, thus issuing all necessary permits for the German section of the project.

Germany is the key beneficiary of Nord Stream 2 and supports the project on the grounds that it is an economic issue.

Other EU states, however—including Poland and the Baltic states, as well as the European Union institutions—argue that the project further solidifies Russia’s grip on Europe’s gas market and undermines efforts to diversify supplies.

For Russia, Nord Stream 2—a project to twin the existing Nord Stream pipeline—not only boosts its gas supplies to the EU, but also bypasses the Ukrainian transit route.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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