Finland, following Germany, has begun to agree on the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline in its exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea. While only the first of the two permits is issued, the second one is expected in the coming weeks. According to the expert, the actions of Germany and Finland will have an impact on Denmark's position, which is critical of the project, but whose permission Nord Stream 2 is also required.
The Finnish government allowed the construction of a section of the "Nord Stream-2" gas pipeline with a length of 374 km in its exclusive economic zone. The Nord Stream project company expects that Finland may issue a second permit, which is necessary to start construction, in the coming weeks.
Within the framework of Nord Stream-2, it is planned to build two lines of the gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The threads will be laid next to the current "Nord Stream". The total cost of the pipeline is estimated at € 9.5 billion.
Nord Stream 2 received all necessary approvals from the German authorities, which allowed the construction and operation of the pipeline in its exclusive economic zone, as well as in territorial waters and on land.
"Nord Stream-2" will be held along the Baltic Sea, relating to Germany, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, as well as Russia. To implement the project, the operator of Nord Stream 2 still needs permission in Copenhagen and Stockholm. Earlier, the company noted that the approval process is on schedule, and the remaining permits should be issued in the coming months.
It is expected that the construction of the gas pipeline should start this year, and its commissioning is planned for 2019.
Problems with the implementation of the project may arise due to the position of Denmark. Last year, the country's parliament passed a law that allows refusing permission to lay a gas pipeline in the territorial waters of the country on the grounds of protecting national security, as well as for foreign policy reasons. At the same time, representatives of the Danish government have repeatedly criticized the Nord Stream-2.
An application for the construction of a gas pipeline in the territorial waters of Denmark was filed by Nord Stream 2 in April of last year. It was planned that the permit would be issued in the middle of this year. However, in Copenhagen can delay with the answer: a clear time for consideration of such issues in local legislation are not defined.
If Nord Stream 2 fails to agree on the project on time or fails, the company can change the route of the pipeline and conduct it through the exclusive economic zone of Denmark. According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, in this case, any country enjoys freedom in laying pipelines. In addition, Copenhagen will not be able to deny the Russian company. However, experts note that the repeated application process may delay the introduction of the pipeline for several months.
However, it is not in the interests of Denmark itself to delay this process, Deputy Head of the FNEB Aleksey Grivach believes. In his opinion, Finland's decision to support the Nord Stream-2 project could have a favorable effect on the prospects for agreeing the gas pipeline in Denmark and Sweden. "It will be more difficult to refuse when neighbors Germany and Finland have already made their choice. This can be perceived not only as an action against Russia, but also as a step against the European neighbors, "the expert said." It is unlikely that Copenhagen will oppose Berlin, and on a topic that is not principled for Denmark itself and does not improve the situation in the Danish economy ".