Update: Following reports that France would effectively kill the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, EU officials including German Chancellor Angela Merkel affirmed on Friday that an agreement has been reached which will allow construction of the pipeline to move forward – handing a major victory to Germany and Russia (and a stunning defeat for President Trump).
At a meeting in Brussels on Friday, EU diplomats advanced a draft gas-market law, initially proposed in late 2017, while greatly cutting back a provision that would have effectively blocked the pipeline.
The deal will allow negotiations with the European Parliament on a final version of the legislation to begin. Both sides are aiming for an official agreement as soon as next week, and no later than the end of May.
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As The European Union and the US struggle to block the controversial international pipeline project Nord Stream 2, a 760-mile pipeline that would allow Russia to export natural gas directly to Germany – depriving Ukraine of badly needed gas transit fees along the current route for Russian supplies – France on Friday officially announced its opposition to the project, revealing that it would vote with a bloc of EU nations seeking to torpedo the project.
Earlier reports suggested that the opposition in Paris is rooted in the fear that the pipeline would confer too much “strategic power” on Moscow, potentially complicating its relationship with Brussels. Reuters has previously reported that Paris’s vote against the project could rob Germany of the blocking minority it needs to move the project forward.
But later on Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a deal had been reached on Nord Stream 2.
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