English posts

Opinion: Europe must retain control of its energy security

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will drastically increase Russia’s energy leverage over the EU. Such a scenario is dangerous for the bloc and the West as a whole, say the US ambassadors to Germany, Denmark and the EU.

Right now, a dozen European countries rely on Russia for more than 75 percent of their natural gas needs. This makes United States allies and partners vulnerable to having their gas shut off at Moscow’s whim. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly proven his willingness to use Russia’s gas supply as a weapon, having blocked the flow of gas to neighbors in 2006, 2009, 2014, and most recently in March of last year.

European Union reliance on Russian gas presents risks for Europe and the West as a whole and makes us all less secure. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will heighten Europe’s susceptibility to Russia’s energy blackmail tactics. Europe must retain control of its energy security.

Curbing Russian influence

Make no mistake: NordStream 2 will bring more than just Russian gas. Russian leverage and influence will also flow under the Baltic Sea and into Europe. And the pipeline will enable Moscow to further undermine Ukrainian sovereignty and stability.

In exchange, Europe will send billions of euros to Moscow each year. Indirectly bankrolling Russian military aggression in places like Ukraine and Syria. It will also fund the Russian troll farms and disinformation factories that target democratic institutions in Europe and the United States. The completion of NordStream 2 and the importation of more Russian gas into Europe would help to finance even greater Russian aggression throughout the continent.