Lavrov calls Denmark’s decision to lay gas pipeline “responsible”

Sergey Lavrov

Denmark has taken the “responsible approach” by permitting the laying of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline in its exclusive economic zone, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

“Denmark, as a European country, joined the consensus that had been formed long ago on Nord Stream-2 as a project that will increase the energy security of European countries,” Lavrov said at a press conference after talks with visiting Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Thomas Greminger.

The Danish Energy Agency granted on Wednesday a permit for the construction of a section of the Russia-led Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline on the Danish continental shelf in the Baltic Sea.

The United States has accused Russia of pursuing political goals by building the pipeline which, according to Washington, could create long-term energy security problems for the United States and Europe.

Russia has repeatedly denied the allegation and accused the United States of unfair competition by pressuring Europe into buying U.S. liquefied natural gas.

“Commercial projects should be free from any politicization and should not become hostages to geopolitical games,” Lavrov said.

The Nord Stream-2 is an offshore pipeline that transports natural gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, which is designed to deliver up to 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.

Denmark was the last country to grant the permit, following Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany through the waters of which the pipeline passes.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Demark’s decision, praising the country for defending its own interests and that of its main partners in Europe, which are eager to diversify the supply of Russian hydrocarbons to the European market.