COPENHAGEN, March 29 The European Union has
offered to negotiate with Russia on behalf of its member
countries about the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which aims to
bring Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, Danish
newspaper Politiken reported on Wednesday.
In a letter to the Danish government seen by the newspaper,
the European Commission invites member countries to state their
opinions about Nord Stream 2 and clarifies that the pipeline can
not be operated in a "legal vacuum".
The commission will ask member countries for permission to
initiate negotiations with Russia in order to reach an agreement
that pivotal principles from the union's legal framework will be
imposed on projects like Nord Stream 2, commission spokeswoman
Anna-Kaisa Itkonen told the newspaper.
The EU is divided between eastern European and Baltic Sea
countries that see a new pipeline carrying Russian gas across
the Baltic making the EU a hostage to Moscow - and those in
northern Europe, most especially the main beneficiary Germany,
for whom the economic benefits take priority.
(Reporting by Teis Jensen; editing by Grant McCool)