Manfred Weber, lead candidate of the European People’s Party for the presidency of the European Commission has said that he will try to stop the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline should he be elected to the EU’s top job.
“I am against the Nord Stream 2 project,” he said. “It will increase the dependence of the EU on Russian gas and not decrease it. And we need more independence, not dependence on Russian gas.”
Mr Weber’s position shows consistency with many conservative MEPs who oppose the Russian pipeline, while Germany and France – set to become beneficiaries of the project- support it. At the same time, it comes amidst legal threats from the companies involved in the construction of the pipeline.
Establishing an energy link between Russia and Germany through the Baltic Sea, Nord Stream 2, which is costing 11 billion euros, will double gas shipments to Germany.
According to the project’s corporate representatives, two-thirds of the 1,230-kilometre pipeline has already been completed in the maritime territories of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Russian state energy company Gazprom and its Western partners in the project had hoped to complete the pipeline by the end of 2019. They now estimate that the project will be finished by 2020. The new commission president will take office on November 1, 2019. “This is already a very advanced project. But I will do my best to stop it,” Mr Weber added.