The response, perhaps understandably, to the government’s approval of the Nord Stream 2 passing through territory for which it required Danish permits, has been somewhat divided.
While the Russians are delighted they have finally secured the last part of the jigsaw in their bid to lay down a 1,230 km gas pipeline to Germany, the Americans are apprehensive what this will mean for the region and its allies.
Passing through the Baltic Sea, southeast of Bornholm, Denmark had delayed its decision for a long time, but yesterday it finally gave the Nord Stream 2 the green light.
A responsible player
Russian president Vladimir Putin heard the news on his visit to meet Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, and he promised the decision would have positive repercussions for Danish business interests.
“We welcome this decision,” he said. “Denmark has proven to be a responsible player in the international debate, protecting their own interests and sovereignty as well as the interests of their European partners.”
Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Russian parliament, was also pleased, praising the Danes for acting despite “strong international pressure … from Ukraine to Poland to America”, according to AP.
Cruz beats Trump to the condemnation
US President Donald Trump, who has been a fierce critic of the pipeline, has not commented yet (which is unlike him), but Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a rival of Trump’s to run for office in 2016, has been unequivocal in his condemnation.
“Time is running out to stop Nord Stream 2,” he wrote on Twitter. “In a few short months, Russia will have completed its natural gas pipeline – putting Putin in a position to further expand his military, exploit our European allies, and threaten US energy security.”
Trump has been adamant in the past that the pipeline will turn Germany into “Russia’s hostage” as they become dependent on Russian gas. And it is believed US sanctions are likely against the companies that help Russia build the pipeline.
Ukrainian gas company Naftogas, meanwhile, has called the pipeline “a geopolitical weapon”.
“Denmark’s firm position has delayed the project, but a geopolitical weapon cannot be stopped with tools regulating purely commercial relations,” it wrote on Twitter.
“Sanctions imposed by big western nations are an effective response. We plan to support our diplomats in this.”