Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency granted the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline a permit to build in Germany’s exclusive economic zone.

An earlier permit for another part of the planned pipeline, issued in the regional state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, is presently being challenged in a German court.

That means that the legal issues for the pipeline are still not resolved. And Swedish, Danish and Finnish permit are also still lacking.

The 1,200 kilometre Nord Stream 2, owned by Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom, would bring Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

In response to the announcement of the recent German decision, European Green Party co-chair Reinhard Bütikofer said:

“The Nord Stream 2 consortium is making triumphalist comments, but under no circumstances can this be seen as a done deal for Gazprom. The fight continues in the courts, in the European Parliament and on several other fronts. We are optimistic that this project can be stopped, as it is environmentally detrimental, economically superfluous, politically divisive between EU member states, and runs counter to the goals of the EU’s energy policy.

“The pipeline will not help reduce Europe’s supply gap, or bring more competition to the EU gas market as claimed by the Nord Stream consortium.  Instead, it would entrench Gazprom’s position as the most dominant player in the sector and increase Europe’s dependency on Russia.

“By approving the pipeline, Germany is also showing a complete lack of solidarity with its European neighbours and a disregard for its commitments in meeting European energy goals. As Greens, we will continue to fight Nord Stream 2 every step of the way.”