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Germany

Berlin Protests Comments by US Ambassador to Sweden

The German Foreign Ministry presented an official protest to the US embassy in Berlin, expressing annoyance at comments by the US ambassador to Sweden that criticized a joint German-Russian Baltic Sea gas pipeline.

Pipes are loaded for transport

The US ambassador warned the planned pipeline may give Russia more power

According to the Friday, Sept. 12, issue of the German daily Handelsblatt, a senior German Foreign Ministry official presented an official protest to the US embassy in Berlin about an op-ed piece written by US ambassador to Sweden, Michael M. Wood, that was published in a Stockholm newspaper.

Citing the example of Russian-energy consumer Ukraine, the article suggested that the pipeline posed a security threat to the region in that it would allow Moscow to use energy as a means to gain political leverage.

The German Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the Handelsblatt report.

Environmental concerns cloud project

In Sweden, the project has also been criticized by some lawmakers over environmental concerns, including potential hazards posed by chemical weapons dumped in the sea after World War II.

Earlier Thursday, German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said the pipeline did not pose a threat, telling reporters that the 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) pipeline instead had to be studied from an environmental and economic perspective, Finnish news agency STT reported.

The pipeline envisaged by the Nord Stream AG consortium is planned to run from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald, Germany. The consortium has ruled out a land-based route.

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