Denmark Still Deciding on Russian-German Pipeline

BERLIN (AP) — Denmark's foreign minister Anders Samuelsen said Wednesday his country hasn't yet decided whether to allow a joint German-Russian gas pipeline to pass through its territorial waters, but suggested Moscow's continued aggression in Ukraine was making it less likely to be approved.

The Baltic Sea pipeline would bring Russian gas directly to Germany, skirting Poland and Ukraine, and has prompted criticism from them, the U.S. and others.

 Samuelsen said after meeting with German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin that once it's time for a final decision, the government in Copenhagen will evaluate "what is going on in Russia and the way that they treat Ukraine."

With ongoing aggression, however, he said Russia is "definitely not working in the interest of Denmark in general."

Danish authorities are currently evaluating one application from Russia's state-owned Gazprom for the pipeline to go through Danish territorial waters, which includes an "assessment of environmental and safety implications as well as an assessment of the project's compatibility with Danish foreign, security and defense policy interests," according to Samuelsen's office.

A second application, proposing an alternative route that would still pass through what is called Denmark's exclusive economic zone, is being evaluated by the Danish Energy Agency.

If the routes are rejected, Gazprom would have to make alternate plans that would be more costly and delay the project.

Maas said he understood the situation was complicated, and praised Denmark for putting "precision before speed."

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