STOCKHOLM, June 7 (Reuters) - Sweden has approved an application from Nord Stream 2 to lay two gas pipelines through its economic zone in the Baltic Sea, the government said on Thursday. “Our judgement was that we were not able to say no,” Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Mikael Damberg, told reporters.
The 9.5 billion euro ($11.24 billion) project will bring Russian gas to Germany and has been criticized by the United States which says it will undermine Europe’s energy security.
Nord Stream 2 is fully owned by Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom.
German energy groups Uniper and Wintershall, Anglo-Dutch group Shell, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie are financing the 1,225 km pipe. ($1 = 0.8452 euros) (Reporting by Johan Sennero; Editing by Simon Johnson and Alexandra Hudson)