The German Chancellor admitted that Nord Stream 2 is a political project. Is this the result of American policy against Russia?
Rafał Bajczuk, an analyst at the Eastern Studies Center (OSW), asked by the BiznesAlert.pl portal whether the position of Germany in relation to Nord Stream 2 and admitting that it may have political meaning, is a change of position or rhetoric used for the talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who said that the words of Chancellor Merkel are “something more than just courtesy for the visit of the President of Ukraine”. – It was an official statement, which is being repeated and appears on the official website of the German government. Earlier, Merkel and the German government have claimed that it is an economic project – said Bajczuk.
He added that the instruments presented to the US president by the congress, which can be used to introduce new sanctions, as well as the last sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs and some companies, may be one of the factors that influenced the change of tone in the statements of the German Chancellor. – Sanctions will not directly affect the companies that implement this project, partners, but will affect the possibility of financing this project. Companies that became lenders for the project implementation by Nord Stream 2 AG, in concluded contracts have already committed to co-finance the project with the same name. It is therefore about raising funds from financial institutions for Nord Stream 2 – emphasized Rafał Bajczuk in his interview with BiznesAlert.pl.
Not a breakthrough?
In the opinion of Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl quoted by the Polish Press Agency, Merkel’s declaration is no breakthrough. As the expert notes, after the speech of the German Chancellor, Gazprom reiterated that he could agree to maintain supplies at the level of 10-15 billion cubic meters annually. – For the first time such a solution was proposed by Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, known from the Kremlin’s declaration of stenographic records, that he would not allow the European Commission to interfere with Nord Stream 2 – he added.
As Jakóbik noted in June 2016, Gazprom has promised to keep the minimum supplies at the level currently declared.
– That is why today its president Alexei Miller, does not quite tell the truth when he says that Gazprom never wanted to abandon supplies via Ukraine. It wanted to, but it revised the position as a result of talks with German partners at least two years ago. Germany and Russia are now pursuing a long-established direction, and their declarations are no concession, although they create such an impression. This is the implementation of the plan – he stressed.