Will Nord Stream 2 Survive the Current Impasse?

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Will Nord Stream 2 Survive the Current Impasse?

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:09
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Will Nordstream 2 Survive the Current Impasse?
Will Nordstream 2 Survive the Current Impasse?

On the one hand the project looks like a win win. On the other one sees yet another trans-boundary pipeline embroiled in great controversy: Nordstream 2 is a twin 1200-km pipeline system proposed to run on the floor of the Baltic Sea and costing over 11 billion euros when completed. Yet once in operation the existing Bratsvo Pipeline System in place in the Ukraine since Soviet times becomes redundant.

And this is the hitch. Last week the EU called on its 28 member states to give it a mandate to negotiate a “special legal framework” with Moscow to cover the Nord Stream 2 project, to be constructed by a consortium of Dutch, French and German energy companies. Nordstream counters that there is no need for an international agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation on Nord Stream 2 "as a comprehensive legal framework governing Nord Stream 2 and other import pipelines is already in place."

Compounding the dispute over Nordstream 2 is the new US Senate bill strengthening sanctions on Russia and even adding new ones. The new ones could also affect the European consortium planning to build Nordstream 2.

The US Senate said it was the policy of the United States to continue to oppose Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, saying it would have a detrimental impact on the European Union’s energy security, gas market development in Central and Eastern Europe and energy reforms in Ukraine, a position in line with most eastern European members of the EU.

The House of Representatives still has to approve the Senate bill before it goes to President Trump for possible signature and becoming US law.

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