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Russia-Germany gas pipeline looks to avoid Danish waters

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The company behind the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would pump Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, on Friday applied for an alternative route that would bypass Danish territorial waters.

The moves comes as the Danish Parliament has dragged its feet about giving permission for the project to pass through Danish waters east of the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm.

The company operating the pipeline project is majority owned by Russian state gas company Gazprom. It said Friday that the route through Danish waters “will remain the preferred route.” But it said it had presented a new one because the Danish foreign ministry’s recommendation “has been pending since January.”

The alternative route would still pass through what is called Denmark’s exclusive economic zone. That would not require a parliamentary vote, but an approval from the Danish Energy Agency. The agency said it had received the application and that it would process it.

Originally Nord Stream 2 wanted to have its pipeline pass through about 140 kilometers (87 miles) of Denmark’s waters. Instead it is now suggesting a 175 kilometers (109 miles) long route.

In 2017, the Danish Parliament adopted a text that would allow Denmark to decline hosting Nord Stream 2 for security reasons and Danes have been asking the European Union for help, hoping a solution could be found within the EU framework.

Other countries in the region — Sweden, Finland and Germany — earlier this year have issued permits for Nord Stream 2.

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