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European Union adopts French, German compromise on Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Russian Federation

European Union adopts French, German compromise on Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Russian Federation

France plans to back an European Union proposal to regulate the pipeline, its foreign ministry said on Thursday, potentially threatening its completion and dealing a blow to Germany. Previously, the EU States had agreed on a compromise, after the above Changes to the EU Gas Directive, stricter requirements for the project decided. The last-minute changes give it greater say because the pipeline would connect with the European gas grid in Germany.

Opponents of the pipeline worry it will weaken support for Ukraine by depriving Kyiv of gas transit fees along the traditional route for Russian supplies, which fill over a third of the EU's gas needs.

His comments to the RIA Novosti state news agency come a day after ambassadors of European Union countries agreed to a proposed new European Union directive to extend the bloc's rules regulating gas deliveries to incoming pipelines, like the Russian-German Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

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

Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed the vote as an example of Berlin's close ties with Paris after the two major European powers, which both have firms invested in the project, were publicly at odds ahead of the EU meeting.

The EU states have supported the French-German agreement on managing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, AFP reported, citing European diplomats. At the same time, but it should be ensured that the completion of the 1200-kilometre long pipeline is not compromised.

The German chancellor defended the controversial Nord Stream 2 project and argued that Berlin was already diversifying its energy resources with plans to purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG) from other countries. Therefore, the line should be built to the end.

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But Germany feared that would make the new pipeline uneconomic and nonviable.

On the eve of the talks, the French Foreign Ministry said that France "intends to support the adoption of such a directive". The total cost of the project has been estimated at 9.5 bln euro. The agreement empowers Berlin as the key negotiator with Russian Federation on the pipeline project and guarantees that any rules will be applied by the "territory and territorial sea of the member state where the first interconnection point is located".

A transatlantic tiff over Europe's natural gas supply came to the boil on Sunday (13 January), as Donald Trump's ambassador to Germany threatened firms involved in a pipeline from Russian Federation with sanctions.

France's defection is also surprising, because one of the financial investors in Nord Stream 2 is Engie, a French-led multinational company.

"I think this is a good day and it wouldn't have happened this way without German-French cooperation", Merkel said.

Although Chancellor Merkel has always been a proponent of the pipeline, not everyone in Germany shares her enthusiasm.