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European Commission does not object to construction of North European Pipeline


BRUSSELS, September 14 (RIA Novosti, Alexander Shishlo) - The European Commission indirectly supported Wednesday the construction of the North European Pipeline between Russia and Germany.

Francoise Le Bail, the spokeswoman for the European Commission, said Russia lacked developed infrastructure in the energy sphere and anything that was done to ease this problem could be called a good cause.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder met on September 8 in Berlin to adopt a statement on energy cooperation and attended the signing of an agreement between Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom and German companies E.ON and BASF on the construction of the North European Natural Gas Pipeline.

On the same day, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski called the construction of the pipeline a bad project, having said that in a political sense there were no doubts that Poland needed a diversified supply of oil and natural gas.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2005 and to be completed in 2010. The natural gas pipeline, linking Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, will have an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters and cost two billion euros.

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