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An increasing number of nations back a firm stance on Nord Stream 2 as the European Commission seeks a mandate from the EU's member states in talks on the project, Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas said.
Nord stream
© RIA / Scanpix

At Tuesday's meeting of the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE) in Luxembourg, Vaičiūnas reiterated Lithuania's position that it regards the planned expansion of the Nord Stream pipeline linking Russia with Germany "as a political project that, based on preliminary estimates, would have a negative impact on the Energy Union's objectives".

"We had a much wider range of member states that spoke rather strongly or, at least, said that they wanted clear answers to the questions raised as they backed the mandate for the European Commission. These included Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Cyprus and several other states," the minister told BNS.

According to him, Lithuania supports the Commission's intention to open negotiations, but underlines the need for a commitment to apply EU law to the project. The second condition is that the project should not undermine the EU's internal energy market and its functioning. Lithuania also asks for a detailed "legal, economic and even strategic assessment" by the European Commission.

Russia's gas giant Gazprom expects to start implementing the Nord Stream 2 project, which is estimated to cost nearly 10 billion euros, in April 2018 jointly with Western European energy giants.