The final green light for the Finnish stretch of the planned pipeline came from the Nordic country's environmental authorities, a week after the government in Helsinki gave its consent for a project that has sparked controversy in the European Union.
"The Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland has granted the permit required under the Finnish Water Act for construction of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines between Russia and Germany within the Finnish Exclusive Economic Zone," the agency said in a statement.
But the plan to bring more Russian gas to Western Europe is facing headwind elsewhere in the bloc.
Although German authorities gave Nord Stream 2 their green light at the end of March, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that the plan could not go forward "without clarity about the Ukrainian transit role".
Kiev has strongly condemned the approvals the project has been granted so far.
"It is important that Germany and all the other EU countries remember the principles on which the EU was built and understand that their authorisation for the construction of Nord Stream 2 deals a heavy blow to their allies, Ukraine being one of them," speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Andriy Parubiy declared in a speech, quoted by Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
Approvals are still needed from Russian, Danish and Swedish authorities. If approved, the pipeline's construction could begin as soon as this year, aiming for a commercial use in the beginning of 2020.
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