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MNI BRIEF: Nord Stream 2 Approval To Be Slow-MEPs

MNI (Brussels)

The European Parliament is likely to insist on a say in the approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, MEPs say.

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Approval for the Nord Stream 2 could take until well into 2023, with the European Parliament likely to insist on a say in the process and member states such as Poland possibly considering legal challenges, German members of the European Parliament for the Green Party told MNI.

"I think it could take 1-½ years," said MEP Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, after Germany's energy regulator last week suspended the pipeline's certification process, telling the firm to explain how it will comply with EU regulations, including the relocation of the company to Germany and allowing access to other suppliers. The regulator will have two months to review the firm's proposal, followed by a further four months for Commission vetting and two months for a definitive ruling.

Another German Green MEP, Reinhard Buetikofer, said the new German government should say publicly that it will insist on Nord Stream 2's meeting all EU requirements.

Energy analyst Agata Loskot-Strachota from Warsaw's OSW thinktank said the new German government will have no choice but to take a firm line with Russia, but added that there is a good chance Moscow could back down, lest it prompt an EU move away from Russian gas.