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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Merkel Eager to Allay Fears Over Nord Stream Pipeline

WIESBADEN, Germany -- Russia and Germany hope to build the Nord Stream gas pipeline on time and are eager to allay the concerns of transit states over the project, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday.

"As far as the Nord Stream natural gas line is concerned, we've just intensively talked about that again in the German-Russian governmental consultations," Merkel told a news conference with President Vladimir Putin. "The project is politically desired. Where there are problems implementing it economically, we can help -- if political talks help. If investment conditions need clearing up, that must ensue at a company level."

Merkel said Moscow and Berlin were ready to soothe differences with transit states, which have raised concerns about the environmental safety of Nord Stream.

"We see no need to act at the moment, so I can only say that in my view the project will go ahead, and that ways and means will be found to talk to one another about the difficulties there still are with transit countries," she said. "As far as Germany is concerned at any rate, we want to see this project completed and economically implemented."

Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said talks would continue to resolve the concerns of countries that have criticized the pipeline.

"The project is going according to plan, but there is a situation where questions about the route need to be discussed with Baltic Sea littoral states in relation to the Convention on the Law of the Sea," he said.

"We are in a position to ensure a high level of environmental security on the route of this pipeline," said Khristenko, adding that the Blue Stream gas pipeline under the Black Sea to Turkey provided ample proof.