• English posts

    The Neue Ostpolitik approach to Nord Stream 2: A legal fiction carried a little too far

    EnergySource by Dr. Benjamin L. Schmitt On April 10, 2018, signs emerged that the German government was finally beginning to recognize the geostrategic implications of the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Standing next to then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated: “I made very clear that a Nord Stream 2 project is not possible without clarity on the future transit role of Ukraine…so you can see that it is not just an economic issue, but there are also political considerations.” In one short statement, the chancellor had seemingly repudiated years of arguments that she and other German politicians had made since the pipeline’s announcement: namely, the claim that…

  • English posts

    Superfluous and politically lethal. The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is highly contentious. Two German experts present their different views for The Security Times

    By Ralf Fücks February 2018. If we listen to those groups advocating on behalf of Nord Stream 2 – the second double pipeline designed to move Russian natural gas through the Baltic Sea – we might come to think the new project is a highly energy-efficient project and politically quite harmless. According to them, Nord Stream 2 will increase European energy security – after all, the Soviet Union was a reliable provider – and remain a purely commercial project. They argue that the European Commission would do well to stay out of the matter, and should refrain from interfering in Germany’s energy sovereignty. Objection, your Honor! Continue reading the blog…

  • English posts

    Congress to target Russian pipeline in defense bill

    HALIFAX, Canada ― Congress’s must-pass defense policy bill will be the vehicle to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s $11 billion project to deliver natural gas to Europe via a new pipeline from Russia to Germany, a top U.S. lawmaker revealed Friday. Sanctions on companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline have been added to the draft 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch told Defense News on the sidelines of the Halifax International Security Forum. The inclusion of the sanctions in the bill is a strong sign, but House and Senate lawmakers have yet to reach a final deal on the massive bill. Continue reading the…

  • English posts

    Three months left to kill Nord Stream 2

    Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act has received overwhelming bipartisan support and proposes targeted sanctions to halt completion of Nord Stream 2, Russia President Vladimir Putin’s natural gas pipeline designed to control Europe. But there has been a procedural delay and time is running out. The act targets sanctions against one company, Allseas, which is providing a critical deep-sea pipe-laying vessel to install Nord Stream 2 on behalf of Gazprom, and it is only three months away from finishing the job unless it is stopped. “There is emerging consensus about placing this sanctions bill in the defense budget bill called the National Defense Authorization Act,” said Daniel Vajdich, whose firm Yorktown Solutions advises…

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2: Falling at the Last Fence?

    Thanks to interventions by Washington or Brussels, Nord Stream 2 may end up either not being completed or, once completed, find that much of the pipeline cannot in fact be used. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project has been subject to immense controversy ever since President Putin launched the project in tandem with his German business partners in June 2015. Contrary to the desires of the German government, most of the Central and Eastern European EU member states have come out against the pipeline. The EU itself has formally extended EU energy law to import pipelines such as Nord Stream 2, while the Polish authorities have launched antitrust proceedings against the project.…

  • English posts

    Finish the Fight: A Washington-Brussels Double Play Can Still Stop Nord Stream 2

    The Washington Nationals’ ubiquitous World Series victory slogan, “fight finished,” has been draped across every corner of the US capital for weeks. At the same time, a second, unfinished fight that for years has united lawmakers in both parties has hit a critical phase. On October 30, officials at the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) issued a final construction permit for the deployment of the Kremlin-conceived Nord Stream 2 pipeline within Denmark’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Danish permit should not be viewed as a tacit approval of the project’s merits. In fact, Danish officials have been public with their concerns about the pipeline’s negative impact—especially for Ukraine’s strategic stability—and resisted the project…

  • German posts

    Wie die GroKo für die Putin-Pipeline trickst

    Was tut die Bundesregierung noch alles, um Wladimir Putins Prestige-Projekt „Nord Stream 2“ nach den Wünschen des russischen Gasriesen Gazprom zu realisieren? Die Koalitionsparteien von CDU/CSU und SPD haben nach BILD-Informationen einen Gesetz-Änderungsantrag formuliert, der die verschärften EU-Richtlinien für Pipelines aus Drittstaaten im Fall von „Nord Stream 2“ außer Kraft setzen könnte. Hintergrund: Die überarbeitete Gasdirektive der EU sieht eine komplette Entflechtung von Pipeline-Betreiber und Pipeline-Nutzer/Gaslieferant vor. Gazprom dürfte demnach nicht mehr Eigentümer der Pipeline sein – und zugleich eigenes Gas durch die Pipelines leiten. Dies macht einen Betrieb von „Nord Stream 2“ zu Russlands Konditionen nahezu unmöglich. Continue reading the news article on the German Bild website.

  • English posts

    Replacing Dutch gas with Russian gas contributes to global warming (and no one seems to care)

    Dutch gas production is expected to fall to about 10 bcm in 2025, little over 10 per cent of the 2013 production level. Within the EU, Dutch gas has so far mostly been replaced by Russian gas. However, when compared to Groningen gas, Russian gas has a carbon footprint that is greater by about 30 per cent. For the Netherlands, replacing Dutch gas with Russian gas negates, by far, all the progress that is being made by increasing the share of renewables in the electricity mix. This has hardly played a role in decision making on gas supplies. It should. Continue reading the news article on the Emerging Europe website.

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2 labor camp. The prisoners’ work was used in the construction of the gas pipeline

    During the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the Russian authorities illegally used the forced labor of prisoners – informed Russian human rights defenders at a conference in Strasbourg. “Russian authorities and state-owned companies use the forced labor of prisoners, in accordance with the practices used in the GULAGs” – announced at the conference “Putin’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and its real price for Europe” organized on October 22 in Strasbourg, the founder of the organization dealing with human rights protection “GULAG – NO “Vladimir Osieczkin. Continue reading the article on the Polish Energetyka24 website.

  • Dutch

    Wij Russen betalen de prijs voor jullie schone gas

    Een van Ruslands bekendste milieuactivisten, Jevgenja Tsjirikova, doet een beroep op Europa om Russisch gas van het omstreden project Nord Stream 2 af te wijzen. Weinig mensen in het Westen denken na over de ethische kanten als ze fossiele brandstoffen uit Rusland kopen. Nord Stream 2, een gaspijpleiding van Rusland naar Duitsland, laat zien wie de echte prijs voor goedkoop Russisch gas moet betalen. Laten we beginnen met de plaats waar het gas wordt gewonnen: het schiereiland Jamal. Oorspronkelijk behoorde Jamal niet tot Rusland. Het werd bewoond door inheemse volkeren: de Nenets, Selkoepen, Chanty en vele andere, die rendieren hielden en een nomadisch leven leidden. Gazprom pakt het land af…

  • English posts

    Pressure builds over environmental impact of Nord Stream 2

    Environmental activists in Russia have claimed that the company building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline have violated Russian laws on environmental protection by harming natural reserves inside the country, the Russian press has reported. According to the Russian office of international climate watchdog Greenpeace, the destruction of certain endangered species in the Kurgalsky nature reserve in Russia’s northwest are “massive and continuing.” The organisation’s claims are based on the on-site scientific examinations of Russia’s Komarov Botanical Institute, which said that a significant number of unique plants, which were promised to be transplanted by the gas pipeline’s project company, have been destroyed. Continue reading the news article on the Emerging Europe…

  • German posts

    Nord Stream 2: Großprojekt der Privatwirtschaft oder Instrument russischer Geopolitik?

    Bei Nord Stream 2 fallen wirtschaftliche und geopolitische Interessen Russlands untrennbar voneinander zusammen. Der Bau der Pipeline muss als Versuch Moskaus gewertet werden, sich in der aktuell angespannten politischen Lage vor allem gegenüber der Ukraine aber auch der EU alle Handlungsoptionen offen zu halten, um diese zukünftig zur Durchsetzung eigener strategischer Ziele nutzen zu können. ‚Deutschland ist ein Gefangener Russlands‘. Mit dieser provokanten Aussage erregte US Präsident Donald Trump am Rande des NATO-Gipfels im Jahr 2018 in Brüssel große mediale Aufmerksamkeit. Und US-Vizepräsident Mike Pence fand auf der Münchener Sicherheitskonferenz in diesem Jahr noch deutlichere Worte: „Wir können die Verteidigung des Westens nicht garantieren, wenn unsere Bündnispartner sich vom Osten abhängig…

  • German posts

    Designierte EU-Kommissionsvize Vestager lehnt Nord-Stream-2-Pipeline ab

    Hamburg (AFP) Die designierte Vizepräsidentin der angehenden EU-Kommission, Margrethe Vestager, sieht keine Notwendigkeit für das deutsch-russische Pipeline-Projekt Nord Stream 2. Der Bau einer zweiten Gasleitung durch die Ostsee “ergibt keinen Sinn”, sagte die Dänin der Wochenzeitung “Die Zeit” laut Vorabmeldung vom Mittwoch. Nord Stream 2 sei “kein europäisches Projekt”. The article was published on the German Zeit Online news website.

  • 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.

  • German posts

    Nord-Stream-Pipeline – Für die deutsche Regierung ist es eine grosse Ohrfeige

    Die Pipelines Nord Stream 1 und 2 transportieren Erdgas von Russland nach Deutschland. Polen und die baltischen Staaten fürchten um ihre Energiesicherheit, die EU mache sich zu stark abhängig von Russland. Gazprom durfte bis 2016 zur Sicherung des Wettbewerbs zunächst nur die Hälte der Leitungskapazitäten der Erdgasleitung Opal nutzen, eine Verlängerung von Nord Stream nach Tschechien und Deutschland. Als die EU-Kommission dem russischen Energiekonzern Gazprom die Erlaubnis erteilte, diese Erdgasleitung doch stärker zu nutzen – und zwar zu 80 Prozent statt zu 50 Prozent – da ging Polen vor Gericht. Nun die Überraschung: EU-Richter haben eine Klage von Polen gutgeheissen. Laut Frank Umbach könnte der jetzige Entscheid Signalwirkung haben. Continue…

  • German posts

    Das gehört nicht zu den Glanzpunkten deutscher Politik

    Die deutsch-russische Erdgasleitung Nord Stream 2 führte zu diplomatischen Verstimmungen zwischen Deutschland und mehreren Partnerstaaten. Bundestagspräsident Schäuble spricht nun von zerstörtem Vertrauen. Die deutsch-russische Erdgastrasse Nord Stream 2 ist äußerst umstritten und hat unter anderem bei Deutschlands östlichen Nachbarstaaten Empörung ausgelöst. Nun hat sich Bundestagspräsident Wolfgang Schäuble dazu geäußert – und Verständnis gezeigt für die Position der Kritiker. Continue reading the article published on der Spiegel news website.

  • 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,…