Is Nord Stream 2 A Pipeline to Nowhere?

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Is Nord Stream 2 A Pipeline to Nowhere?

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 09:22
2 comments
Laying the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline (copyright by Adobe Stock/fotograupner)
Laying the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline (copyright by Adobe Stock/fotograupner)

The recent bill put forward in the US Senate by Senators Ted Cruz and Jeanne Shaheen may have been the proverbial straw that has broken the camel's back.  For in its wake Germany has stiffened its spine and publicly voicing its displeasure with the current US-German relationship under President Donald Trump.  The Foreign Ministry has called the senate move "a grave intervention in the sovereignty of EU affairs and in its energy security policy."

So after constructing on the floor of the Baltic 2300 of 2460 km with less than 200 km to go where do we go from here?

It's plausible that the comprehensiveness of the new round of potential sanctions will scare potential participants in the remainder of the project away, however brief its duration might be.  If this is the case Gazprom will be stuck with the project's sunk costs and they are considerable -- conservatively estimated at $10 billion. And the Nord Stream 2 becomes a pipeline to nowhere.

Such a development would severely burden not only the American-German relationship but the American-Russian one as well, with all of its geostrategic implications. Trump has said nary a critical word to Vladimir Putin since becoming president in 2016, yet denying Gazprom one of its crown jewel projects could fundamentally destabilize American-Russian ties as well as the world order and place the west in a new Cold War environment.  And all for the sake of selling American LNG in a European continent already awash with its own indigenous supply. 

Comments

Submitted by Patti Lennon-Potter (not verified) on Tue, 06/16/2020 - 04:20 Permalink

The last line in this article, "And all for the sake of selling American LNG in a European continent already awash with its own indigenous supply." is inflammatory and inaccurate. Should this pipeline be completed it could be destabilizing the region and especially to Ukraine. In 2011 about 80% of Russia’s natural gas exports to Europe transited Ukraine, which received approximately $2.3 billion in fees in 2010. In 2018, around 40% of these exports transited Ukraine, and Ukrainian revenues from gas transit totaled $2.65 billion. It could lead to declines in transit revenues and increase Ukraine’s strategic vulnerability, if reduced dependence for gas transit leads Moscow to be even less constrained toward Ukraine.

Submitted by John (not verified) on Fri, 06/19/2020 - 01:57 Permalink

The author misses the point when he comments on Europe’s indigenous supply. The US is an ally of Germany and spends considerable resources on securing the country. Russia is not. This has been the case for decades. The sentiment in the US is that European countries are only concerned with their energy cost and not their strategic relationships. Just refer to the German comments when the US announced troop withdrawals. Cannot have it both ways folks.

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