Putin stressed by EU gas laws

BRUSSELS, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Russia hopes Germany can move past a "technical problem" and give Gazprom permission to ship gas through the Nord Stream pipeline, the prime minister said.

Moscow aims to diversify its European natural gas export options through its South Stream pipeline through southern Europe and the Nord Stream pipeline through the Baltic Sea.


The second leg of Nord Stream won't be ready until late 2012, though the first stage is to start shipping gas by September.

The European Union passed a measure that calls for the separation of businesses that handle gas sales and those that deal in transportation, which could pose a problem for Gazprom.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said during talks with European leaders in Brussels that he hoped the government in Berlin would give its permission for Russia to pump gas through Nord Stream as planned.

"I hope that at least this technical problem will be solved in the nearest future," he was quoted by state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying of the European measure.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the European energy package, which is to go into force Tuesday, wasn't discriminatory policy.


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