The pipeline, built by Russian petroleum giant Gazprom [official website], will carry natural gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. The proposed route passes through Danish territorial waters.
Previously, Danish law provided for pipeline denials only on grounds related to energy needs or environmental impacts. The new law adds foreign policy, defense and security policy considerations to the ministry's decision.
The debate in Europe over the pipeline has been ongoing with opposition claiming that increased dependence [RFE/RL report] on Russian gas is bad strategy for the continent. The US has also put sanctions and diplomatic pressure [RFE/RL report] on the project. The Russian government, however, scoffs at the idea of a geopolitical motive [RFE/RL report] and points to declining gas production rates across the EU.