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Denmark’s Energy Agency has granted Nord Stream 2 AG permission to lay part of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on the country’s continental shelf, south-east of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. According to the agency’s estimates, this route is the safest and most environment-friendly.
As I have repeatedly emphasized, falling under the rule of EU energy directives, this pipeline won’t play a decisive role, for example, in Russia’s dispute with Ukraine regarding the extension of a contract for gas transit via the Ukrainian GTS. As for Denmark, it, like no other country in the EU, has prevented the gas pipeline from being laid, delaying the issue of the permit for as long as possible. Had every participant in this project followed suit, the Nord Stream 2 would have faced much bigger problems.
However, if someone thinks that the problems of Nord Stream 2 can be considered resolved at this stage, it would me a mistake.
The fact is that the route, which Denmark’s Energy Agency called the “safest and most appropriate top environmental standards,” actually has a very dubious and alarming reputation. After all, in this area, after World War 2, four Soviet ships have been sunk with a total of 15,000 tonnes of chemical weapons on board. In addition, in the eastern district of Bornholm, the Soviet fleet carried out uncontrolled discharge of 8,000 tonnes of chemical munitions.
It should be noted that the area could hardly be called a waste disposal site since the ammunitions were dumped from ships along the entire route of the route to the said area. According to a letter from the USSR Minister of Internal Affairs, S. Kruglov, addressed to Joseph Stalin and dated August 1948, chemical weapons were discharged in an uncontrolled manner. Here’s a short quote: “Often, due to poor visibility and severe storms, missiles with combat hazardous substances are dumped into the sea beyond the scheduled areas.”
Not surprisingly, over time, boxes of land mines were being found on Sweden shores at low tide. And local fishermen still bump into such deadly finds occasionally.
For example, according to a report by the Helsinki Commission, in 2005, fishermen east of Bronholm found in their nets a total of 105 kg worth of combat chemicals in four instances .
Therefore, in addition to the problem with the EU’s energy directives, Nord Stream 2 is likely to also face some echoes of the past. After all, thanks to the Soviet authorities, so much praised in the modern Russia, the pipe will be laid in a not so “safe” area, and possibly the most dangerous one in the whole Baltic Sea.
Against this backdrop, I’m curious, whether the route approval by DEA was indeed a security measure or another “Russophobe” act by the Western power…