• English posts

    U.S. Senate Threatens Sanctions Over Russian Pipeline

    Washington and Berlin face off again over Nord Stream 2 as European ships are targeted. In the latest uptick of trans-Atlantic tensions, European ships involved in the construction of a controversial gas pipeline from Russia to Germany could be subject to U.S. sanctions under a new bipartisan bill that will be introduced in the U.S. Senate as early as Monday. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz, a Republican, and Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, would sanction companies involved in laying deep-sea pipelines for Russian energy projects, taking direct aim at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which has emerged as a major source of tension between the United States and Germany. Foreign…

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    Nord Stream 2: What Berlin thinks about halting construction

    Manfred Weber, a candidate for the office of president of the European Commission, is speaking out against the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. What is the German government’s response? German politician Manfred Weber, currently the parliamentary leader of the European People’s Party (EPP), is hoping to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker after the European Parliament elections from May 23-26. At the beginning of the week he had announced that, as head of the European Commission, he would block the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The project was not in the European Union’s interest, Weber told the Polish newspaper Polska Times, saying the pipeline could increase the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas. Continue reading the article on the…

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    Gazprom is threatening Denmark with a late payment on the authorization of Nord Stream 2

    The Russian daily “Kommersant” reported on Monday that the Gazprom group is preparing a base for legal action against Denmark, whose authorities – in his view – procrastinate in a manner unjustified with the process of issuing a permit to set up the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. “Gazprom threatens Denmark with a lawsuit for delay in issuing permits” – said Kommersant. Relying on legal sources, the daily argues that Gazprom has little chance of a quick victory, while according to experts the threat of a lawsuit may put pressure on Denmark. Gazprom’s representative Dmitry Chandoga said on Monday at a media conference that the company believes that “there is still…

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    EU Gas Directive Approval Could Delay Russian-Led Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

    The EU Council approved a European gas directive on April 15 that is expected to delay commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – and potentially leave it half empty. By extending EU rules to non-EU pipelines — particularly those outside EU territory —  the directive will force Gazprom to “unbundle” or hand over operation of the line to a company independent of Russia’s state gas producer. However, Gazprom maintains a jealously guarded monopoly over gas exports from Russia and will be very reluctant to share the right to export with anyone. Currently, the only other entity allowed to export gas is privately owned Novatek, which is limited to…

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    Nord Stream 2 threatens to take EU to court over gas rules

    The company behind the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is threatening to sue the EU if it’s not allowed to avoid new regulations that it says endanger the billions of euros that have been invested in the project. In a letter obtained by POLITICO, Nord Stream 2 CEO Matthias Warnig wrote to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that if the pipeline is not eligible for a derogation from the new rules, “the measure would be discriminatory against [Nord Stream 2] as an investor” and the EU may be breaking an international treaty. The EU’s Gas Directive was revamped earlier this year and extends the bloc’s gas liberalization rules to cover new offshore gas…

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    Nord Stream 2: A failed test for EU unity and trans-Atlantic coordination

    From its inception, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has triggered a controversial debate in the European Union and the United States. Sponsored by the Russian Gazprom (which is the sole shareholder), the German Wintershall and Uniper, the French ENGIE, the Austrian OMV, and Royal Dutch Shell, the Nord Stream 2 is expected to extend and double Nord Stream 1’s existing capacity, transporting Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea. While the EU Council has just establishedthat pipelines with third countries must comply with EU gas rules, it remains unclear how this will impact Nord Stream 2––specifically, whether the pipeline will get an exemption or if its…

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    Germany’s Social Democrats defend Nord Stream 2

    The Social Democratic Party (SPD) Parliamentary Group has published its official position on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (NS2). The document outlines the party’s strategy on NS2 in the project’s final stage and future activation. Based on the assumption that NS2 is close to completion, the SPD intends to stabilise Germany’s central position as a hub for Russian gas in Europe. At the same time, the Social Democrats want to strengthen their message that NS2 will benefit the EU gas market, including by expanding the circle of those who will gain from the investment. The SPD’s consolidated position is principally intended to ensure that the party presents a consistent line…

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    Patostream with Nord Stream 2 By

    By Wojciech Jakóbik Quarrel in the family Energy cooperation between Western companies and Gazprom goes far beyond the contested and – already mainstream– Nord Stream 2 problem. It includes the exchange of assets, the entry of the transport sector and bunker with the use of LNG. Further challenges threaten to delay Nord Stream 2, which may translate into problems in other departments of this economic symbiosis. The Austrian OMV acknowledges that the lack of Denmark’s decision to allow the construction of the Nord Stream 2 section on its territory could potentially delay the project. Even Russian Kommersant acknowledges that the delays in the construction of Nord Stream 2 are likely. According to our findings,…

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    Russian company: Incomprehensible that Denmark has not made a decision on controversial gas pipeline

    The Danish Energy Agency has today received a new and third application from Nord Stream 2 AG for a controversial gas pipeline that has to go from Russia to Germany. But besides the application, the company also criticises the Danish authorities for waiting so long with a decision. It is now more than two years since the company behind the pipeline, owned by the state-owned Russian energy group Gazprom, submitted its first application for a route through Danish waters. And in a press release Nord Stream 2 AG calls it “incomprehensible” that Denmark has not yet made a decision. According to them, there are no relevant environmental or safety reasons why…

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    NORD STREAM 2: CAN DENMARK MAKE BERLIN AND MOSCOW TREMBLE?

    Did the Nord Stream II gas pipeline project have its wings clipped? Denmark has delayed its approval for building the segment of the pipeline that crosses its territorial waters. Whilst a total restructuring of the entire project seems to be highly unlikely, Copenhagen’s decision unveils the contradictions between Nord Stream II and Europe’s energy policy. What is the Nord Stream II project? Nord Stream II is a gas pipeline project which is to connect Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in the north east of Germany, and which would follow almost the same route as Nord Stream I which has been in service since 2011. The pipeline connects the biggest supplier of natural…

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    Last Stop for Some of Danske Bank’s Dirty Money: Spanish Real Estate

    Some of the $230 million at the heart of Europe’s widening money-laundering scandal was ultimately spent on Spanish real estate, according to anti-corruption prosecutors in Madrid. Their investigation following a trail that originated in Russia broadens an inquiry that so far has concentrated on the Baltic states and Scandinavian banks including Danske Bank A/S and Swedbank AB. The Spanish probe alleges that a money-laundering ring moved about 35 million euros ($39 million) through accounts in Moldova, Ukraine and Lithuania and then via Estonia to Spain, providing new details about the final destination of some of the cash. The funds “have been laundered since 2008 through an international structure of companies, banks and…

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    Russia is cultivating Germany’s far right. Germans don’t seem to care.

    It’s not as though the relationship between the Russian government and the German far right, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, has ever been a secret. Last year, when the government expelled a group of Russian spies, AfD leader Alexander Gauland protested: Germany could be letting “itself be drawn into a new Cold War by rabble rousers,” he declared. During Germany’s most recent election campaign, Russian state media campaigned openly for AfD. Pro-Russian and Russian-based social media accounts, some real and some automated, repeated AfD’s anti-immigration and anti-European messages, as well. Continue reading the article on the Washington Post news website.

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    Will Nord Stream 2 omit the gas directive?

    Politico and Ukrainian Naftogaz have organized a discussion about the future of energy security. The panelists were arguing about Nord Stream 2 and the relations between the European Union and Russia. Will the project omit the EU law? I am very curious how the Russians will avoid the principle of separation the pipeline ownership from gas transfer company. Continue reading the article on the Polish Biznes Alert news website.

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    Europe is Entering its Golden Age of Gas

    In a 2011 report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) asked a provocative question: are we entering a golden age of gas? At the time, U.S. shale gas production was surging and new fields were coming online around the globe, encouraged by high oil prices. Gas, it seemed, was poised to “play a far more prominent role in the global energy mix.” Since 2011, the short answer to the IEA’s question has been ‘not yet,’ at least on a global scale. Though many of the IEA’s assumptions have been coming to fruition in the last two years, including major demand growth from China, major supply growth from unconventional sources, and low growth…

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    How to lose friends and alienate people or Germany on Nord Stream 2

    Germany’s proceedings around Nord Stream 2 will not only hurt this country, but also European common policy as a whole from a security point of view. Additionally, they are undermining Germany’s already-fragile position as the European mediator and dealmaker. In the 1970s Henry Kissinger famously wondered, “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” His statement underlined the Old Continent’s lack of common policy. Divisions of this nature are especially evidenced in contemporary times when it comes to the Nord Stream 2 project. The European Commission (EC) already assumed that this project, which calls for the construction of another gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, would not serve common European…

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    Nord Stream boss warns of years of delays

    The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany could be stalled for years because of Denmark’s environmental concerns about its route, the company behind the project is warning. A lengthy delay could force Russia to renew its gas transit agreement with Ukraine, while it awaits a final verdict. The current pipeline through Ukraine provides the war-torn country with an annual income worth 2 per cent of its GDP. The controversial €11.7-million project had been expected to begin pumping gas under the Baltic Sea by the end of the year. Continue reading the article on the Energy Reporters news website.

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    Controversial Russian gas pipes can slip into the ‘Polish banana’, which Denmark has just thrown

    The Danish authorities are asking Nord Stream 2 to investigate the possibility of a completely new route in the Baltic Sea. It can delay the project for a year. The disputed gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 in the Baltic Sea will be further delayed due to Denmark. The Danish Energy Agency in Denmark has asked the company to investigate a completely new route past Bornholm to the gas pipeline, which will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany. It can delay the project for up to one year. Especially in Russia, this will cause annoyance because the government is impatiently waiting for the state-owned Gazprom to use the new pipeline. Germany…

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    U.S. House passes bill to lure Europeans away from Nord Stream 2

    WASHINGTON, March 26 (WNM staff/TASS) –  The House of Representatives of the US Congress voted on Monday for the bill on assisting Central and Eastern European countries to diversify energy supplies sources for countering Russia’s influence, with 391 and 24 congressmen voting for and against the bill, respectively. A live broadcast of the voting was provided by the C-SPAN TV channel. The bill must be passed by the Senate and then be signed by the President to become law. The authors of the draft law suggest that it is necessary for the US to assist “Central and Eastern European countries to reduce their dependence on energy resources from countries that…

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    Nord Stream 2 investors await new U.S.-sanctions

    WASHINGTON – March 23 (WNM staff/news wires) In Washington, consultations are under way whether and if to which extend sanctions should be imposed on the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. According to sources in Washington, no decision is yet made. But World News Monitor has learned from people involved with the decision that some kind of sanctions is more likely to come than no sanctions at all. Investors are hence waiting for a decision before they decide whether to put money in Nord Stream 2. Russian media reported, that Italian bank Intesa is considering an investment into Nord Stream 2. But a spokesman for Intesa-CEO Antonio Fallico told World…

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    Questions over German politician’s ‘links to Russian pipeline’

    Exclusive: Email links Wolfgang Kubicki – a candidate to be finance minister – to statement advocating potential of pipeline that critics say is opposed to EU interests. A candidate vying to be Germany’s next finance minister is facing questions over possible links to lobbying on behalf of Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project as his party enters crunch talks to form the next government. An email seen by the Guardian links Nord Stream 2 lobbying to the deputy leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), Wolfgang Kubicki, throwing into doubt cross-party claims of a “more critical” attitude towards the contentious energy deal in a potential three-party coalition alongside Angela Merkel’s…