Nord Stream 2 is again at the centre of political games
The prospects for the imminent completion of Russia's Nord Stream 2 energy project continue to haunt politicians on both sides of the Atlantic. And although the tone of rhetoric against Russia has noticeably decreased in Washington, the Americans are actively using the topic of the gas pipeline in their political games, EU Reporter informs.
President Biden did not impose sanctions against Nord Stream AG (51% of the company belongs to GAZPROM) but strengthened sanctions against Russian pipe-laying companies. In Washington, they made it clear that they would no longer be able to stop the almost finished project. Nevertheless, Secretary of State Blinken continues to speak "about the danger" of the Russian gas pipeline for the energy security of Europe.
In turn, for Germany, Nord Stream 2 has long been a headache. The unprecedented pressure that Washington has exerted on Berlin in the last period is unlikely to have pleased Germany. However, in the end, the White House decided not to demonize Germany, but to achieve compromises for America that would allow Washington, if necessary, to control the transit of Russian gas, especially if it tries to significantly reduce the gas flow to Europe through Ukraine.
In Ukraine itself, the upcoming launch of Nord Stream 2 raises serious concerns, primarily due to potential losses for Kiev as a result of Moscow's reduction in gas pumping through the Ukrainian gas transportation system. Many experts in Ukraine seriously calculate possible losses.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has already reacted to such gloomy forecasts. First of all, the Ministry stated that Nord Stream 2 is a purely economic project that has no political dimension. Ukraine has a contract with Gazprom until 2024, and the issue of further gas transit will be resolved through negotiations. At the same time, Moscow is convinced that Ukraine will not remain without Russian gas. That was clearly stated by high ranking representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Along with Ukraine, Poland actively expresses its dissatisfaction with the Nord Stream 2. Warsaw is known for its negative attitude to the Russian gas supplies to Europe. The country has already launched the construction of an alternative pipeline to Denmark, the Baltic Pipe, to deliver gas from Norway. However, experts doubt that the relatively modest reserves of Norwegian gas will be able to compete with natural fuel from Russia.
In any case, various political games and intrigues around the Nord Stream 2 are likely to last for a long time, largely due to pressure from Washington, the unwillingness of Germany and other EU countries to quarrel with America, as well as the desire to support Ukraine.