Dispute about Nord Stream 2: Moscow warns of obstacles

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"What we say is that if Nord Stream 2 happens, we want it to happen in a European framework".

But Paris and Berlin now agree that chief responsibility lies with Germany, the "territory and territorial sea of the member state where the first interconnection point is located", according to a text seen by AFP.

It is trying to look beyond Russian gas - to imports of U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) and new pipelines, such as a planned Norway-Poland pipeline via Denmark, that would supply Sweden and other neighbouring states.

Germany considers it important for Ukraine to maintain its role as a transit country for Russian gas, she also said.

France and Germany have buried their differences on new European rules that could complicate plans for a gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany. The last-minute changes give it greater say because the pipeline would connect with the European gas grid in Germany.

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"Regarding the gas directive, we have reached an agreement and this was possible because Germany and France worked closely together", German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a news conference.

Katja Yafimava, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, told New Europe that there has been a proposal agreed by France and Germany on which the vote on February 8 in favour of the amendment was conditioned.

"I firmly assume that the Nord Stream 2 project will be realised", a spokesman of the energy group said.

According to the German broadcaster, after fierce United States messages, an important vote in the European Union is up on Friday. Under the compromise agreement, Germany will itself be able to determine the rules under which Nord Stream 2 will operate.

However, an attempt to implement new regulations mid-way through the Nord Stream 2 project are nearly certain to run into legal challenges from Russian Federation, said Katja Yafimava, a senior research fellow at Britain's Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

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In the end 27 of the bloc's 28 ambassadors reportedly agreed to a Franco-German compromise.

Critics say the project puts European energy independence at risk, giving Russian Federation outsized control over supplies.

European Union capitals overcame differences on Friday over shared geopolitical concerns that the pipeline would deprive Ukraine of transit fees that are a lifeline of its economy by doubling the amount of gas that could be pumped under the Baltic Sea. "If the AFET report is adopted, for sure it would be symbolically important but it can not stop the implementation of Nord Stream-2 as the Parliament's approval (or lack thereof) is not needed", Yafimava said. The pipeline project will be on the line until the legislation passes.

Other European companies involved in the project include the Anglo-Dutch Shell, Austria's OMV and France's Engie.

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