France flips. The European Union will vote Friday on whether to give the European Commission greater influence over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and according to Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung, France has flipped sides and now plans to vote in favor of the changes, meaning they will likely be passed. The commission wants to separate the gas supply from the pipeline operation of Nord Stream 2, which would send Russian gas through the Baltic Sea to Germany upon completion later this year. The U.S., as well as Central and Eastern European governments, has opposed the project, and these changes would add a new obstacle to its completion. Anonymous French government officials told the German newspaper that the pipeline increases Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and hurts the interests of Poland, Slovakia and others. But none of this is new information, so it’s unclear whether it was U.S. pressure or something else that spurred the change of heart in Paris.
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