DW: France set to undermine Nord Stream 2 pipeline deal

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron signing a German French friendship treaty in Aachen

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron pledged closer cooperation as they signed a new treaty last month Credit LUDOVIC MARIN AFP

The essence of the proposal of Germany and France is that the country with the point of gas intake from the offshore pipeline in its territory will acquire the right to select the formula for application of EU Gas Directive provisions and possible exceptions from it. Germany is such country in case of Nord Stream 2. The compromise proposal would have nearly agreed by all European Union member States.

Critics were also alarmed by the fact that the pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany would entirely bypass Ukraine, leaving it without gas transit fees. "Yes, we are ready to support the Ukrainian Transit will continue, but under the terms we need".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel previously refuted claims that the Nord Stream 2 project would make Berlin dependent on Russian Federation by stating that it will not be the case if her country diversifies its energy suppliers. It largely parallels the path of the already built Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

The ambassadors were due to wrap up the talks on the gas rules later Friday afternoon, they added.

Under the compromise, which threatened to open a rift between the EU's two most powerful countries, Berlin will remain the lead negotiator on the project. At the same time, but it should be ensured that the completion of the 1200-kilometre long pipeline is not compromised.

The posture signals a direct confrontation with Germany over the construction and operation of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline that Berlin is now building with Russian Federation.

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On the flip side, growth could slump to a potential 0.8% in 2019 should uncertainty persist and financial conditions tighten. Although it did hold out the hope of a recovery later this year if an orderly deal is negotiated by the March deadline.

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. The total cost of the project has been estimated at 9.5 bln euro. "This day, I think it's good, and he would not have taken place without the German-French cooperation", she said. "The French-German compromise was adopted pretty much unanimously", one diplomat told AFP. The move could have derailed the undersea pipeline plans between Russian Federation and Germany.

If the proposed regulation musters enough support, negotiations on final draft rules could begin as early as next week.

"The Americans don't want Nord Stream 2 to happen", an adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be publicly identified, stressing that it was not American pressure that shaped the French position.

France's foreign ministry said in a statement: "France has been, for several months, the target of repeated, baseless attacks and outrageous statements".

German businesses are very involved in the pipeline, having invested heavily in the project, which is run by former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

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