While US-President Trump is imposing tariffs von steel and alluminium on American key allies Canada, Mexico and the EU and furthermore pressing the European countries to stop the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Project, Austria has welcomed Russian President Wladimir Putin on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the gas supply contracts between Russia and Austria. Austrian politicians reiterate the need for sustainable and lasting energy security for Europe. "The 50th anniversary of the start of natural gas supplies from Russia to Austria underlines the importance of pushing and promoting new and diversified energy supply projects in Europe, especially at EU level," said Dr. Barbara Kappel, member of the European Parliament.
Austria attaches great importance to the Nord Stream 2 project, because by increasing gas transport capacity via a second pipeline, the main beneficiaries will be European consumers, who will pay a lower gas price due to the abolition of transit charges. The pipeline is expected to create 31,000 new jobs and to increase EU GDP by as much as €2.26 billion.
"It is now also important to make a clear commitment to the project at the highest EU level while respecting the sovereignty and competence of the member states regarding the national implementation of infrastructures and energy supply. Nord Stream II is a privately organised project financed with loans from the project partners and not with taxpayers' money. Consequently, no political influence and bureaucratic hurdles should jeopardise the long-term supply of the gas market in Europe", said the MEP.
This statement relates to the assumption that the USA is blocking the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for selfish reasons, although many EU countries share US fears of Russia's energy dominance - and thus political power - over Europe.