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GAS Nord Stream 2 14 March, 2019 10:00 am   

Italian strike against Nord Stream 2? Polish trace and threats of Russia


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If information from Denmark is confirmed, it will turn out that this country may influence the Nord Stream 2 project, delaying it thanks to efficient diplomacy with Poland’s participation – says Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.

BiznesAlert.pl was the first to inform that according to the Danish Politiken Territorial dispute between Poland and Denmark, which is to be ended by a diplomatic agreement, gives the possibility to set a new route Nord Stream 2 through the Danish territory. The Energy Agency may ask the project implementer for days to submit a third application for construction permit, this time through the former gray zone in the Baltic. The change of the route may extend the construction, which was supposed to end at the end of this year.

The third application would probably not block Nord Stream 2, but only raise its costs and extend the schedule, while Western European guarantors: BASF, Uniper, OMV, E.on and Shell, do not count with them so much, because they entered the investment without a set permits, which could have allowed the Danes to use a kind of Italian strike. It can be said that companies that risk so much in hopes of buying Russian gas are themselves guilty. Nord Stream 2 is not a safe project.

It is difficult to determine whether Copenhagen really extends the procedures because of political resistance to Nord Stream 2. Russian Sputnik has no doubts and already accuses the Danes of creating losses for Russia. The expert cited by the Russian propaganda agency warns that as a result of these actions Denmark will be on the black list of Russia. It may be a veiled threat of the Russians.

However, it is worth recalling that from the point of view of the Danes, it has been on the Moscow’s black list for a long time, because in 2015 Ambassador Mikhail Wanin responded to the initiative of using the Danish fleet to install the NATO missile defense shield with the threat of a nuclear attack on its ships. Meanwhile, Denmark remains determined. Foreign Minister of Denmark Anders Samuelsen said that his country has not yet decided whether to allow the construction of a section of the disputed gas pipeline in its territorial waters, but he suggested that further Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine reduces the chances for that to happen.

Russia should be under pressure, which despite the fact that the administrative procedures in Europe are poorly respected, which may be the case of the illegal annexation of Crimea, will convince Denmark to agree to Nord Stream 2. Meanwhile, the Danes can legally assess the construction application in its territorial waters from the point of view of foreign and security policy. This would not mean the blocking of the project, but the need to revise the assumptions, which may delay it by up to one year. Everything in accordance with the law and procedures. This means that Denmark did not have to use the Italian strike, and Politiken’s reports would not be confirmed. Nord Stream 2 may record a delay in Denmark in the first place because it does not comply with the law.

In the most optimistic scenario for Poland, it may turn out that Nord Stream 2 will be built later than the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline planned for October 2022. It is less optimistic that the Polish project will also face unforeseen problems with obtaining permits in German waters, but this is Sputnik’s conspiracy theory.