Germany was the main defender of Nord Stream 2, and now, when the pipeline is almost completed, due to the situation with Alexey Navalny Berlin is urged to abandon the project.
German Chancellor Angela Merkelhowever, he still supports the construction of the pipeline and believes that Navalny's case should not overlap with the second branch of Nord Stream. But the pressure on Merkel is increasing: the American media are already publishing schemes according to which Berlin will "drain" the gas pipeline.
"Severny" will be frozen like "Yuzhny"?
Just the other day, the need to reconsider the future of Nord Stream 2 announced Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Fredriksen... “Throughout the entire time (construction - editor's note) I was against Nord Stream-2. I don't think we should be dependent on Russian gas. It would be nice if we could start a new discussion on this issue, ”the local TV company DR quotes the Danish prime minister.
Recall that Denmark was the last country to issue a permit for the construction of a gas pipeline in its territorial waters.
In general, Nord Stream 2 had more opponents than supporters. The same Poland, which after the launch of the pipeline will lose income for transit through the Yamal - Europe gas pipeline. Warsaw is also promoting its Baltic Pepe project to supply gas to Europe from Norway through Denmark. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in an article for the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called on the EU to "archive" the Russian gas pipeline.
Most and loudest against the second branch of the "Nord Stream" spoke out in the United States, which this gas pipeline prevents from flooding the European market with its liquefied natural gas (LNG). Throughout the construction, American politicians vied with each other to urge the Germans to abandon the SP-2, allegedly a political project and with cheap Russian fuel Europe would get expensive dependence on Russia.
Last week Head of the Bundestag Committee on Economics and Energy Klaus Ernst said that speaking out against Nord Stream 2 did not work in the interests of the European Union and the FRG.
However, according to the American edition of Politico, Berlin has prepared several "moves" allowing it to abandon the SP-2. First, the Germans can initiate the revocation of the pipeline construction permit. Secondly, Germany can impose restrictions on Russian gas imports: its laws allow this. Thirdly, Berlin is offered to wait for a court decision on the claims of non-governmental environmental organizations opposing the gas pipeline for environmental reasons. If the court decides that the implementation of the SP-2 may affect global warming, the construction will be frozen.
Fourthly, Berlin can initiate pan-European sanctions on the gas pipeline or "allow" the American authorities to do this work, which a year ago began to impose restrictions on Nord Stream 2 (due to which, in fact, the project was postponed) into operation).
By the way, at one time the European Union also "leaked" another almost built Russian gas pipeline - South Stream. The pipe with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters was supposed to minimize the role of Ukraine as a country-supplier of gas from Russia to Europe. Brussels believed that UP did not comply with the norms of the Third Energy Package, according to which one and the same company cannot simultaneously be a supplier of fuel and be responsible for its transportation. They wanted Moscow to build a gas pipeline and admit third-party exporters to it, who, by the way, did not spend a cent on it. The torpedoing of the South Stream was not called anything other than political. In December 2014, Russia announced the closure of the project. Instead, the Turkish Stream was built, where the gas importers themselves decide on the supply of Russian fuel through Turkey.
Who will lose from the freeze of Nord Stream 2?
As Politico notes, if Germany withdraws its permission to build the SP-2 for political reasons, the Nord Stream 2 AG gas pipeline operator will be able to sue the Germans. The damage could reach the cost of the entire project - 9.5 billion euros. But this is not all that Berlin will pay if it turns its back on Nord Stream 2.
According to Oliver Hermes, Head of the Eastern Committee of the Federal Republic of Germany, the suspension of SP-2 threatens European energy companies with billions of dollars in losses, Tagesschau reports. As the head of the German gas association Zukunft Erdgas, Timm Koehler, notes, if the construction is frozen, "investments in the amount of eight billion euros will have to be written off."
“The situation with Alexei Navalny has nothing to do with the energy security of the European Union,” says independent industrial expert Leonid Khazanov- Here several factors are more likely to merge together: plans of certain political circles in Germany to play the anti-Russian card, US pressure on Denmark and other members of the European Union and Poland's lobbying. It is far from a secret that there are those in the FRG who want to complicate relations between Germany and Russia in order to earn political points for themselves: they say, the Russians are trying to enslave the poor Germans with the help of their “blue fuel”. The Donald Trump administration is playing in unison with them, trying to create the most favorable conditions for the export of liquefied natural gas to the EU - deliveries via Nord Stream 2 can reduce it to a minimum.
According to the expert, the abandonment of Nord Stream 2 for the Old World will have far-reaching consequences: gas consumption in the medium term will expand and if SP-2 is not completed, then the Europeans will buy liquefied natural gas, which will quickly rise in price. Otherwise, the Europeans risk freezing. Both governments and ordinary citizens will pay for this.
“I would like to note that the transportation of LNG in gas carriers across the seas and oceans is cyclical, in contrast to uninterrupted pipelines, and it’s easy to guess how easily a shortage of natural gas can be formed on the European market,” Khazanov emphasizes.
In Germany, everyone is well aware of this, and the likelihood of Berlin's abandonment of Nord Stream 2 is still extremely small, the expert said. Month ago Christian Pegel, Minister of Energy, Infrastructure and Digital Technologies, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany bluntly stated that American gas is unprofitable for his country because of its high cost.
"The only thing that can happen is if emotions and fear of the United States do not break common sense and pragmatism," says Khazanov.