EU INFIGHTING: Andrew Neil MOCKS Macron and Merkel for 'falling out’

EU INFIGHTING: Andrew Neil MOCKS Macron and Merkel for 'falling out’

EU INFIGHTING: Andrew Neil MOCKS Macron and Merkel for 'falling out’

A previous wording of the proposed changes to the European Gas Directive suggested that the EU rules would extend to "the territory of the member states" and or the "territorial sea of the member states".

On the eve of the talks, the French Foreign Ministry said that France "intends to support the adoption of such a directive".

It is trying to look beyond Russian gas - to imports of USA liquified natural gas (LNG) and new pipelines, such as a planned Norway-Poland pipeline via Denmark, that would supply Sweden and other neighbouring states.

An EU source has said that France's vote will be decisive, likely leaving Germany short of a blocking minority, according to Reuters.

Speaking during a visit to Slovakia, Merkel said on February 7 that Nord Stream 2 would not make Germany dependent on Russian Federation for gas "if we diversify at the same time".

The EU states have supported the French-German agreement on managing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, AFP reported, citing European diplomats.

As well as Germany's Uniper and BASF's Wintershall unit, other European companies have stakes too, including Anglo-Dutch Shell, OMV of Austria and Engie of France.

In today's vote, which will decide on the future of this controversial gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany, France intends to vote against the project, according to the German newspaper.

Germany and the Netherlands, the main beneficiaries of the Russian gas to be delivered via Nord Stream 2, are opposing the new definition.

At the same time, France changed its position and chose to support the proposed amendments despite Germany's objections.

The EU wants to bring pipelines coming into the bloc under its energy rules.

The Commission asked the member states on Friday (9 June) for a mandate to negotiate with Russian Federation an agreement on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.

"Nord Stream 2 would further increase Europe's vulnerability to Russian blackmail in the energy sector", the ambassadors wrote.

But the source said France sought "guarantees for the security of Europe and for the security and stability of Ukraine". Merkel earlier on Thursday reiterated her support for the pipeline.

The US ambassadors to Germany, Denmark and the European Union urged EU members to vote against the pipeline.

The €9.5 billion Nord Stream 2 scheme involves running two pipelines beneath the Baltic in addition to an existing pair, bypassing Ukraine and several other states in eastern Europe.

"Mr Macron also today decided that he wants to try and stop Mrs Merkel's gas pipeline from Moscow". Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has always been a proponent of the pipeline, responded to the Nord Stream 2 criticism on Friday. I say no, if we diversify.

In the United States, a bipartisan group of senators drafted a resolution calling for the cancelation of the pipeline project, and leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said they would take up the resolution at their next meeting.

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