France supports Romania against North Stream 2

Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron at France Armistice Day

"And this has been achieved because Germany and France have worked very closely, together with European Union term president Romania and of course with other member states", she said. "Work is continuing with our partners, in particular with Germany, on possible changes to the text", French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a briefing.

Merkel has so far insisted that the pipeline is a "purely economic project" that will ensure cheaper, more reliable gas supplies.

France tends to support Romania's position on the matter of the North Stream 2 project and will not back Germany's attempt to prevent debates on this issue in the EU Council of February 8, local G4media.ro reported.

Putting EU energy independence at risk?

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

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has always been a proponent of the pipeline, responded to the Nord Stream 2 criticism on Friday. The move could have derailed the undersea pipeline plans between Russian Federation and Germany.

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Although Russia accounts for 30 percent of gas imports to Europe, natural gas makes up less than 10 percent of the bloc's overall energy mix. The revised directive would apply to the Nord Stream 2 project. However, in November 2018, only 69 out of 751 Members of the European Parliament signed a letter against Nord Stream-2.

At the same time Merkel noted the need for diversification of energy supply of Germany and of the supply of resources not only from Russian Federation.

In earlier supporting broader European Union oversight, a French diplomatic source had told AFP on Thursday that Paris was "not for or against Nord Stream 2". President Donald Trump's administration has been pushing against it.

"Cancelling the project would send a clear signal that Moscow can not get away unscathed with its aggression against neighbouring states [Ukraine], and its meddling in our democracies", they added, referring to accusations that Russian Federation had attacked USA and French and German elections in recent years. Chancellor Merkel has said that Germany wants Ukraine to remain a transit country and that she has consistently conveyed that desire to Russian President Vladimir Putin. This could have consequences for Nord Stream 2. Ebert added that those same representatives oppose rule changes as they would only fuel uncertainty. Merkel earlier on Thursday reiterated her support for the pipeline.

German businesses have invested heavily in Nord Stream 2 and former Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder is running the project.

Bütikofer later released a tweet with the words, "If you can't bang your head through a wall, at some point you should stop charging into it".

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