From Vglad in Russian
Europe has removed the last obstacle in the Nord Stream II route
Europe shields Nord Stream II from Trump
The European Commission, which has no love for Nord Stream II, has made a crucial statement: Trump’s threats cannot stop the construction of the gas pipeline, said European Commissioner Gunter Oettinger. Thus, Europe has removed the last obstacle in the way of the Nord Stream II. Brussels sends another important signal to Kiev.
How did Nord Stream 2 go through seven circles of hell, and what awaits Ukraine?
“I have never been an active supporter of Nord Stream II.” But the truth is that the gas pipeline has been under construction for a long time, and now it cannot be so easily stopped. Trump’s threats are no reason to do it, ” European Commissioner for Budget Günther Oettinger told Der Spiegel.
According to him, it is also important for Gazprom to conclude a fair agreement on the further use of the existing lines passing through Ukraine. The European Commissioner, in fact, defended Nord Stream II from threats from the United States, which, as you know, previously gave themselves the right to impose sanctions against the Russian gas pipeline.
One way or another, Gazprom has overcome all other obstacles for Nord Stream II. There was just one last uncertainty – the possibility of the United States imposing sanctions on the gas pipeline. Finally, Brussels has closed this topic. From this point on, you can ignore the next bright populist statements of American, Ukrainian or other politicians against the pipe.
The EC has fixed the firmness of the fact that Nord Stream II will be built and will pump Russian gas to Europe.
“Ettinger gives a clear signal that if the US tries to stop the Nord Stream II, this will lead to the most severe conflict, primarily between the US and Europe. Europeans pretend that they are politically opposed, but in reality they are in favor of implementing this project, understanding all the problems that hang on them. One is a drop in production in North-Western Europe, and another is the energy security risk due to the unreliability of Ukraine as a transit country: a) pipes there are 40 years old and b) as for their politicians, it is not clear what they want,” says Igor Yushkov, the leading expert of the National Energy Security Foundation, and professor at Financial University.
We add relevant portions from Der Spiegel’s in intrerview with Jurgen Trittin:
“Americans want to economically destroy Russia”
The US is increasing pressure on Germany to halt pipeline construction of Nord Stream II. Ex-Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin explains why there are good reasons for Berlin to oppose Washington.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Grenell [US Ambassador to Germany –tr] warns that the pipeline will “bring Russian influence to Europe”.
Trittin: Grenell behaves like a front door representative for American fracking gas. The situation is different with the Eastern Europeans. European solidarity applies: no Eastern European country can be blackmailed by Russia. That is guaranteed. Today, Europe has a common gas transmission network and the infrastructure for the so-called reverse flow, ie a thrust reversal in the lines to the east. And with the EUGAL pipeline in East Germany, another building block for this security system would be added.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: However, that is contradictory: the EU wants to stabilize Ukraine economically and also helps with money, but at the same time the loss of gas transit would lead to two billion dollars less transit fees for Ukraine. The country just has an economic power of just over $ 100 billion.
Trittin: Unfortunately, this money does not even begin to end up in the budget of Ukraine. There are many who – in a friendly way – have a great deal to offer. In addition, Ukraine’s pipeline network is in poor condition and very prone to malfunction. Because the necessary investments are not provided. If, therefore, transport were to collapse, a supply problem for Europe could not be ruled out.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Nevertheless, the USA still insist on a construction freeze for Nord Stream 2. Why?
Trittin: There is an all-party consensus in Washington that Nord Stream is evil … The interest in this is transparently laid down in a Senate resolution: it is about exporting American LPG to Europe instead. We are not dealing here with a mere political dispute, even if the Americans like to pretend it is.
It’s about massive economic interests, about America First in energy policy. Europe must not embrace this.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: The Federal Government is trying to negotiate with Moscow that certain guaranteed quantities of gas will continue to come via Ukraine.
Trittin: And Nord Stream II is the lever you can use to force the Russians on it. If the project is stopped, that leverage is gone. So I am not sure that torpedoing the line is really such a good idea for Ukraine, even though the Ukrainian leadership is spending a lot of money on lobbyists in Washington.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: How credible could such an assurance of the Russians be at all – where Putin has maintained exactly the opposite for a decade? His goal was always the evasion of Ukraine.
Trittin: If Russia wants to export the amount of gas it needs to finance its budget, it will not be able to avoid Ukraine. Nord Stream 1 and 2 together do not create these quantities.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: The EU is also driving its own project, the so-called “Southern Corridor” to the gas fields of Azerbaijan.
Trittin: The concern behind the “Southern Corridor” is to protect the supply of southern Europe. I understand that. But the problem is that with this pipeline we are getting gas from an Azerbaijani autocrat …