The construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline divides the Member States of the European Union and the political class. Despite Germany’s involvement in the implementation of the controversial project, it does not have full support among German politicians. It was defended by the chairman of the commission for economy and energy of the German Bundestag Klaus Ernst, writes Piotr Stępiński, editor of BiznesAlert.pl.
Defending Nord Stream 2
– The conflict over Nord Stream 2 is to a large extent connected with the interests of the United States – he said at the conference on “Russia-European Union energy cooperation prospects. Gas Aspects” organized by the Russian gas sector.
– It is obvious that Nord Stream 2 is a much cheaper alternative to transit through the territory of Ukraine. The conflict over this gas pipeline is largely dictated by the interests of the United States, which would like to supply LNG to Europe – a German politician believes. According to him, “the US position is contrary to the interests of Europe and Germany.”
– We know that shale gas extraction is harmful to the environment as opposed to the Siberia raw material – Ernst said.
In his opinion, the current position of the European Commission towards Nord Stream 2 corresponds more to American interests than to European. According to him, “the US has always tried to prevent the construction of gas pipelines connecting Russia with Europe.”
Russian theses in Germany
The German policy statement is part of the narrative proclaimed by Gazprom, which seeks to discredit both the transit of gas through Ukraine and LNG supplies from the United States. The diversification of sources of gas supply by countries from Central and Eastern Europe is a chance to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fuel. Therefore, Moscow is trying to promote the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, fearing the loss of its shares in this market.
In addition, Ernst’s view coincides with the position of the Russians in relation to the actions taken by the European Commission. It is, among others, for revision of the gas directive, which is to ensure the application of EU law also to Nord Stream 2, which according to the Russians is an attempt to block the implementation of the project.
It is worth emphasizing that the statement of Kalus Ernst is not the official position of the government in Berlin. Germany perceives Nord Stream 2 as an economic project, although in April, Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted for the first time in a speech that the pipeline has also political aspects. Some German politicians have repeatedly called for the blocking of the construction of Nord Stream 2 by Berlin.
Nord Stream 2
The first gas pipeline from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea – Nord Stream – was put into operation in 2012. Its capacity is 55 billion cubic meters annually. The same amount of gas will flow through Nord Stream 2. The planned gas pipeline may threaten the development of the market in the region and potential competition in the form of supplies from new, non-Russian sources. Its construction is to start in the summer of 2018 and allow the first delivery by the end of 2019.