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10 February 2019, 10:01 | Devin Moran
France Plans to Vote for EU Gas Directive Amendments Torpedoing Nord Stream 2 REUTERS Wolfgang Rattay
The statement came after France said it would back an European Union proposal to regulate the gas pipeline.
In the end 27 of the bloc's 28 ambassadors reportedly agreed to a Franco-German compromise.
Romania, current holder of the rotating EU presidency, said it "was given the mandate... to enter negotiations with the European Parliament on the amendment of the EU gas directive".
European Union capitals overcame differences on Friday over shared geopolitical concerns that the pipeline would deprive Ukraine of transit fees that are a lifeline of its economy by doubling the amount of gas that could be pumped under the Baltic Sea. "Yes, we are ready to support the Ukrainian Transit will continue, but under the terms we need".
A bipartisan group of United States senators tabled a resolution in Washington the same day "calling on European governments to cancel the Nord Stream 2 pipeline".
According to reports in Germany, France will vote for stricter transparency rules for non-EU companies such as Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom, which could scupper the project. At the same time, but it should be ensured that the completion of the 1200-kilometre long pipeline is not compromised.
The two major European powers, who both have energy firms invested in the new gas link under the Baltic Sea, were publicly at odds ahead of the EU meeting.
It will go through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries - Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, thus bypassing transit countries of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic states.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also stressed that the project would not make Berlin dependent on Russian Federation, if Germany diversifies its energy suppliers.
The changes, which would regulate gas from third-party providers, could eventually make the project less profitable or even cost prohibitive. The agreement empowers Berlin as the key negotiator with Russian Federation on the pipeline project and guarantees that any rules will be applied by the "territory and territorial sea of the member state where the first interconnection point is located". Many EU countries wanted to amend the legislation so that the construction of the pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany could be halted on additional requirements.
"France intends to support the adoption of such a directive. Germany will expand its gas terminals with liquefied gas", she said at the Visegrad Summit in Jerusalem.
"Today is a good day, and that is because of French-German cooperation". Merkel earlier on Thursday reiterated her support for the pipeline.
France's foreign ministry said in a statement: "France has been, for several months, the target of repeated, baseless attacks and outrageous statements".
Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is chairman of Nord Stream's shareholders committee.
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