• English posts

    EU’s top court curtails Gazprom access to Nord Stream pipeline link

    WARSAW/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s top court on Tuesday overruled an EU decision allowing Russia’s Gazprom to ship more gas via the Opal gas pipeline, which links its Nord Stream pipeline to Germany. The ruling is politically charged as Poland and other eastern European nations fight Gazprom’s plans to double the capacity of Nord Stream and bypass legacy gas routes via Poland and Ukraine. Germany, the main beneficiary of the expanded pipeline known as Nord Stream 2, redoubled its defense of the project on Tuesday, while Poland said it threatened gas supplies to central and eastern Europe. Continue reading the article published on the Reuters news website.

  • English posts

    Brussels unlikely to appeal EU court decision hampering Nord Stream pipelines

    The European Commission is unlikely to appeal a decision of the EU General Court on Tuesday (10 September) to restrict the transit of Russian gas via the Opal pipeline, running on German territory. This decision appears to hampers the Gazprom-backed Nord Stream 2 offshore pipeline project, which is nearing completion, as well as the first leg of the project which is operational since 2011. Continue reading the article published on the Euroactiv news website.

  • English posts

    A killing in Berlin raises uncomfortable questions about Germany’s relationship with Vladimir Putin

    Boris Reitschuster is a Berlin-based journalist and specialist on Russia. On Aug. 23, an assailant gunned down a Chechen dissident during broad daylight at a park in the center of Berlin, just a short walk from the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Now, a week later, Germans are still agonizing over the shooting’s likely effect on their country’s relationship with Russia. The victim, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, was a 40-year-old ethnic Chechen from Georgia. Starting around 2001, he fought on the rebel side — against Russian troops — during the Second Chechen War. The Kremlin, correspondingly, considered him a terrorist. For his supporters, he was a fighter for the independence of Chechnya. Continue reading…

  • English posts

    MURDER IN BERLIN

    Germany’s Approach to Russia Comes at a Cost Salisbury” is now shorthand for a Russian murder attempt. What will “Berlin” stand for? Unlike in the cases of the ex-spy Sergei Skripal and the defector Alexander Litvinenko, the hitman who murdered Zelimkhan Khangoshvili on August 23rd did not use a weapon of mass destruction. No polonium (which killed Litvinenko in London in 2007) or nerve agent (which was meant to kill Mr. Skripal in Salisbury in March 2018). ​Instead, he used a gun, firing three shots that killed the fugitive Georgian citizen (and ethnic Chechen) instantly. Continue reading the article published on the CEPA website.

  • English posts

    Why Germany Is Ignoring Its Own Russian Spy Scandal

    The murder of a Chechen rebel in Berlin looks like a Russian operation, but the Merkel government is not making a public fuss about that. Last March, after the attempt to poison the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, U.K., it took the British government only a week to accuse Russia of being responsible; by the 10th day after the crime, it was already expelling Russian diplomats. Now, the same length of time after a very similar event in Berlin, the German government is reacting very differently. The victim of the Aug. 23 attack, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili (or Changoschwili, as it’s spelled in German), was an ethnic Chechen from Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge region who had…

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2: Energy Security For Europe Or Prelude To Russian Aggression In The Baltic?

    Nord Stream 2 (NS2) has been subject to a vigorous debate and much disagreement on whether it provides an opportunity for diversification of gas supply to the European union or facilitates Russian dominance. But some go even further, suggesting that NS2 could become excuse for Russian expanded military presence or even military aggression in the Baltic Sea. The Project in a Nutshell  The Nord Stream 2 (NS2) project consists of two pipelines running across the bottom of the Baltic Sea carrying Russian natural gas to Germany. Once completed the two pipelines would offer 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) in annual capacity.  As such, NS2 is an attempt at duplicating the success of Nord…

  • English posts

    Senator Cruz Says U.S. Has Ability To Halt Nord Stream 2

    U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has said that the United States still has the ability to halt construction of a planned pipeline to send Russian natural gas to Germany, even as the project nears completion. Russia has said it expects to complete the 1,220-kilometer-long Nord Stream 2 project running under the Baltic Sea by the end of the year. Continue reading the article on the Radio Free Europe news website.

  • German posts

    Breiter Konsens gegen Nord Stream 2

    Der demokratische US-Senator Chris Murphy erklärt, warum sein Land Sanktionen gegen Nord Stream 2 plant – und warum ihn die Debatte in Berlin überrascht. In den USA gibt es nicht mehr viele politische Themen, bei denen sich Republikaner und Demokraten einig sind. Doch kurz vor der Sommerpause billigte der Auswärtige Ausschuss des US-Senats bei nur zwei Gegenstimmen einen Gesetzentwurf, der „Europas Energiesicherheit schützen“ soll. Dieser sieht Sanktionen gegen Firmen vor, die am Bau der Pipeline Nord Stream 2 beteiligt sind. In der Ablehnung des Projekts gebe es in den USA einen „breiten überparteilichen Konsens“, sagte der demokratische Senator von Connecticut, Chris Murphy, am Dienstag in Berlin. „Viele Republikaner und Demokranten wünschen sich,…

  • English posts

    U.S. Efforts To Derail Russian Pipelines To Europe Have Failed Since The 1960s. Will Nord Stream 2 Be Any Different?

    U.S. President Donald Trump will fly to Europe later this month to pursue a goal his predecessors going back to John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan failed to achieve — derailing a Kremlin-backed energy-export pipeline. The Trump administration and the U.S. Congress are fighting to block the 9.5 billion-euro ($10.6 billion) Nord Stream 2 project amid fears it will make NATO allies and other European countries more reliant on Russian energy and damage Ukraine by depriving it of transit fees. Continue reading the article on the Radio Free Europe news website.

  • English posts

    To Deal with Bad Ideas, Develop Better Solutions

    The Russo-German Nord Stream gas pipeline projects—Nord Stream I, completed in 2011, and Nord Stream II scheduled to be completed around the end of 2019—are bad projects because they increase European dependence on Russian gas in general, and especially because they give the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin the option of delivering gas to Germany while bypassing other European countries. Putin’s Russia has a track record of using gas exports as political pressure, for example, against Ukraine in the years leading up to Putin’s attack on that country in 2014 and has threatened to do the same to Central European countries, including those in the European Union. Given this, and their long…

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2: high stakes for underwater pipeline lawsuit

    That the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project, which is backed by both the Russian and German governments, is now suing the European Union over what it describes as “discriminatory” rules speaks to the serious issues underlying the project and the risks it poses to European energy independence and security. To its proponents in both Moscow and Berlin, the Nord Stream 2 project is a straightforward way to meet the pressing energy needs of Europe’s largest economy. To Nord Stream 2’s many opponents across the rest of Europe, however, the political and economic leverage Vladimir Putin will gain over the European Union far exceeds the proceeds he can expect from shipping gas via the…

  • English posts

    The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline And The Dangers Of Moving Too Rashly Toward Renewable Energy

    Few Americans likely noticed last week that Denmark refused to grant a permit for finishing construction of the Russian natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, but its international significance is enormous.  Denmark’s refusal is the latest chapter in a story of how good intentions in fighting climate change go bad.  It is a cautionary tale of how a country – in this case, Germany – while seeking to make itself and its energy use cleaner, more efficient and more self-sufficient, can produce the opposite of all three.  As climate change becomes more of an issue in America heading into the 2020 election season, Nord Stream 2 provides a case study of the…

  • English posts

    Senate panel backs Nord Stream 2 pipeline sanctions bill

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate committee passed a bill on Wednesday to slap sanctions on companies and individuals involved in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany that the Trump administration says would strengthen Moscow’s economic grip on Europe. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act,” by a vote of 20 to 2. The bill, which reflects some lawmakers’ concerns over Russian influence in Europe, would still need to pass the full Senate and House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump into law. Continue reading the article published on the Reuters news website.

  • English posts

    Enact US sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline

    Contrary to some claims, a bipartisan bill proposing targeted sanctions for those involved in the construction of a Russian gas pipeline will not hit major EU energy companies. Additionally, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is not an easily deployable alternative to sanctions. All arguments deployed against Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-N.H.) sanctions bill overlook the scale of European support for action against Nord Stream 2. It is true that the German government, and certainly the Social Democratic Party, is opposed to sanctions. But they do not speak for all 28 member states of the European Union. The European Parliament already voted in December 433 to 105 in favor of canceling Nord…

  • English posts

    Gazprom expects Denmark to approve Nord Stream 2 route in October

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian gas producer Gazprom expects Denmark to agree to its route application for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany in October, RIA news agency cited Gazprom’s Chairman Viktor Zubkov as saying on Thursday. Gazprom hopes to finish the gas pipeline project to Germany by the end of this year, but it has had delays in obtaining permits from Denmark. “I think they should give approval sometime in October and then we complete this very important project at the end of the year,” Zubkov was quoted as saying. The above article appeared on the Reuters news website. 

  • English posts

    Schroeder says U.S. pressure on Denmark main reason for Nord Stream 2 delay

    U.S. political pressure on Denmark is the main reason for delays on construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe, project chairman Gerhard Schroeder said on Friday. The project has come under fire from the United States and several eastern European, Nordic and Baltic Sea countries, which fear that it will increase the European Union’s reliance on Russian gas, as reported by Reuters. Former German chancellor Schroeder argued that U.S. gas is more expensive than Russian gas and would be a bad choice for Europe, adding that looming elections in Denmark offer hope that Nord Stream 2 will be finished on time. Continue reading the article on the…

  • German posts

    Russland sucht die Konfrontation mit dem Westen

    Seit dem «Anschluss» der Krim erfindet sich Russland neu: als eine Großmacht, die chauvinistisch spricht und aggressiv handelt. Das sagt Golineh Atai, eine der besten Kennerinnen Russlands, die für ihre Berichterstattung aus Moskau vielfach ausgezeichnet wurde. Sie erklärt die tieferen Gründe für eine Politik, die im Westen vielfach kaum wahrgenommen, in falsche Vergleiche heruntergebrochen oder einfach verdrängt wird. Die Wahrheit ist: Russland fordert die globale Ordnung heraus – in einer Zeit, in der die Fortdauer ebendieser Ordnung ungewiss ist. Denn Russland sieht sich im Krieg. Und Russlands Aggression existiert darüber hinaus auch in alten und neuen globalen Medien, im Cyberspace, im Wirtschaftsraum. Continue reading the article on the Rowohlt webiste.

  • English posts

    Professor: The Nord Stream 2-pin is passed on to a new government

    CHRONICLE: The current Danish government, unlike Sweden and Finland, hesitated to approve Nord Stream 2 through Danish waters. The decision on the route has now been postponed to the general election. This leaves the problem to a new government, writes Bent Ole Gram Mortensen. By Bent Ole Gram Mortensen  Professor of Environmental and Energy Law at the University of Southern Denmark, Deputy Chairman of the Energy Complaints Board and consultant for lawyers in relation to Nord Stream 2 As previously described here at Altinget, two applications have been submitted for the establishment of a further German-Russian gas pipeline – Nord Stream 2 – through the Baltic Sea via a route through Danish…

  • English posts

    US Congress eyes sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline

    Rick Perry, the US energy secretary, on Tuesday said he expected Congress to pass a measure that would impose sanctions on Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, a project that critics say could be used by the Kremlin as a political weapon. “The opposition to Nord Stream 2 is still very much alive and well in the United States,” Mr Perry said in Kiev, where he was attending the inauguration of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr Perry said the Senate and House would pass a bill that Mr Trump would approve. “It is going to go to the president and he is going to sign it,” the…

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2 is delayed. It is confirmed by the documents

    The start of Nord Stream 2 operation will be delayed at least to the second half of 2020. It is official, just take a look at the documents – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl. On May 15th, the Danish Energy Agency published environmental records for the third variant of Nord Stream 2 route. The pipeline from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea is already being built, but not all permissions have been received yet. Denmark has not yet decided whether and what application to consent to. It already received two, now it demands the third one. It was possible thanks to ending the territorial dispute between Poland and…