Nord Stream 2 given go ahead in German waters

A German oversight agency on Monday gave the go-ahead for a 2-kilometre section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to be laid in German territorial waters, dpa reported. The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) ordered the immediate enforcement of a controversial permit issued in January that allowed pipe to be laid on the seabed in Germany's exclusive economic zone.

Nord Stream 2, which will deliver Russian gas into the European Union via a terminal in Germany, is currently still being built in Danish waters, but work there is nearing completion. The German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union and the German Environmental Aid Association took legal action to halt construction through the end of May, citing the impact on resting migrating birds. No work has taken place since January, the German agency.

But it can start at the end of May and continue to the end of September, a time when the birds' sensitive resting periods would not be affected, the BSH said. "After carefully weighing up all the interests to be taken into account, this arrangement is necessary for a 2-kilometre laying so that the pipeline, as intended by the developer, can be placed on the seabed of ​​the German [exclusive economic zone] until further construction," the agency said.

Nord Stream 2 has been largely completed, apart from stretches in German waters. The undersea pipeline has come under fierce criticism from Washington, which believes it will make Europe more dependent on Russian energy supplies.

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