Scandinavian Governments Allow Russo-German Nord Stream Pipeline
Arvamus 11 Nov 2009  EWR
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Vladimir Socor, Eurasia Daily Monitor

On November 5 the Finnish and Swedish governments gave Nord Stream, the Gazprom-led consortium, permission to lay the pipeline through their respective economic zones on the Baltic seabed, on an approved route from Russia to Germany. The Danish government had given its permission in late October. The Kremlin and Gazprom had been seeking that permission arduously for the last three years.

Those three Nordic governments had resisted or procrastinated on the basis of ecological and security considerations. The influential Scandinavian Greens objected strongly. Ultimately, however, each government’s bilateral political relations with Russia weighed heavily in their decisions. Of these three countries, only Denmark seeks to be connected with the Nord Stream pipeline and import Russian gas, in modest volume initially.

Countries on the Baltic Sea’s opposite rim –Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland– had raised manifold objections to the project on ecological, economic, and strategic grounds. The four countries’ prime ministers have promptly criticized the Scandinavian governments’ decision on those grounds (PAP, November 6; BNS, November 6, 9).

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