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Denmark can buy time with a new proposal for Nord Stream 2 routing

New boundary drawing can give Denmark a year more before the election for Nord Stream 2 must be made. One year can change everything.

After years of tug-of-war, Denmark is still in a grim clamp when it comes to the great expansion of the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream through the Baltic Sea, Nord Stream 2.

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (V) is squeezed between the giants Germany and Russia on the one hand and the United States and a number of Eastern European countries on the other.

Therefore, it is not insignificant that, according to Politiken, Denmark, after a settled border dispute with Poland, now has a technical possibility to ask Nord Stream 2 to apply for a new alignment of the gas pipeline, which will lie in the waters between Bornholm and Poland.

It can postpone a final answer with up to a year according to Politiken.

Provided we have an interest in not really making any decision, then we have an interest in asking for a new plan.

We have felt very pressured and have hoped that the difficult decisions will be made elsewhere. In February, the EU took on a greater responsibility, so it is a step in the direction the Danish government has sought behind the doors.

And if the EU says no, or the Russians give up because it pulls out, then we have not done anything, says senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies Flemming Splidsboel.

Denmark has long held the construction of the pipeline rod, since the approval has been dealt with administratively. It postpones an unpleasant decision that will inevitably oppose close and important allies.

It is 100 percent political. It is a huge, technical engineering project of the type that normally goes under the radar. But the security situation has changed and we no longer trust Russia.

The energy issue is big politics, says associate professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen Trine Villumsen Berling.

While Russia and Germany want the project to lead more gas from Russia to Germany, a large number of Eastern European countries and the Baltics are opposed.

They fear that it will make it easier for Russia to push them on the energy supply. Something Russia has often done before. The United States is also against Europe becoming more dependent on Russian gas.

Germany wants it. They need this energy because they are about to phase out nuclear power.

So it’s Nord Stream 2 or more coal, and it’s not so popular in climate contexts, says Trine Villumsen Berling, while Flemming Splidsboel says:

It is a really difficult matter, where there is certainly a lot behind the scenes. The Americans have probably sent a quilt, the Germans are pushing, and so are the Central European countries.

It is a violent cross-press.

Both researchers, however, agree that Nord Stream 2 will end up being built, no matter what Denmark’s attitude is.

We would probably like to throw the pipeline where pepper grows. But it’s almost built. There is a long stretch of pipe in the North Sea and just waiting for it to go around Bornholm.

In a way, we have tried to say no by drawing an approval in the long run. But everyone else, Sweden and Finland have said yes. Then it is difficult to prevent it from being built, says Trine Villumsen Berling.

This is the English translation of a Danish article published on the Finans news website.