HELSINKI – Finland might reconsider Nord Stream 2

The Navalny poisoning and its aftermath are making Finland cast doubt about the completion and future of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, particularly as Germany is now considering whether to withdraw its support. Under the new circumstances, Finland may have to reconsider the project’s political dimensions.

In Finland, MEP Henna Virkkunen (EPP) has called for the Nord Stream 2 project to be stopped.

“Those in charge of Finland’s foreign policy cannot hide behind Germany’s back any longer,” Virkkunen wrote on her webpage.

“With the poisoning of Navalny and the unstable situation in Belarus, the pipeline is a matter of concern for the whole EU and a central tool to influence Russia and its disregard for international treaties and fundamental rights,” she added.

The reasoning behind the current policy, where the dependency on Russian energy in Europe is increasing and Russia’s state-run industry is gaining strength, has also been questioned by Kai Mykkänen, chair of the parliamentary group of the right-wing party National Coalition.

Vice-chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Erkki Tuomioja (SDP), called for a thorough investigation on the Navalny incident.

He said he considers reports coming from the German government to be reliable, but would like to see Russian cooperation in solving the situation.

Lack of willingness to cooperate would be a reason strong enough to draw conclusions, he said.

But what about the energy company Fortum, which is about half-owned by the state of Finland?

Fortum is a majority shareholder in Uniper, a German utility that is one of the five financial partners in the Gazprom project.

Whether the 1,220-kilometre pipeline from Narva Bay to Lubmin will even be completed is now a billion ruble question.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

Read also: The Brief – Time for Europe to play the Nord Stream card

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