Berlin to press ahead with Baltic pipeline project amid U.S. criticism

September 14, 2008 - 0:0

BERLIN (IRNA)-- The German government will push ahead with plans for a joint German-Russian gas pipeline despite American criticism, government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm announced here Friday.

The pipeline which is to deliver gas from Russia to Germany effective 2011, secures German and European energy supply and is therefore being supported politically, the official added.
Wilhelm’s remarks were made only a day after the German Foreign Ministry issued an official protest to the US embassy in Berlin over comments made by the American ambassador to Sweden who criticized the Baltic Sea pipeline project, the business daily Handelsblatt said earlier in the day.
A high-ranking German Foreign Ministry official presented a formal protest over an op-ed piece written by U.S. ambassador to Sweden, Michael M .Wood which was printed in a Stockholm newspaper.
Pointing to the case of Russian-energy consumer Ukraine, the article alleged that the pipeline posed a security threat to the region as it would allow Moscow to use energy as a political tool for blackmail.
The German Foreign Ministry refused to comment on the Handelsblatt report.
Sweden has repeatedly cited security and environmental concerns for its opposition to the Baltic Sea project, estimated to cost more than seven billion euros.