Europe Doesn’t Need Nord Stream 2. Russia Does
Sagatom Saha, Visiting Fellow, DiXi Group, analysed the situation around the Nord Stream 2 for BlogActiv.
In late January, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project received permission for construction and operation where it would make landfall in Germany. Nord Stream 2, like its first iteration, seeks to transit 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian natural gas annually—by the Baltic Sea instead of through Ukraine. By redirecting gas flows, the Kremlin aims to simultaneously undermine European unity and the Ukrainian economy.
If it were to be built, the Nord Stream 2 would undermine not just Ukraine, but the whole of Europe. Russian President Vladimir Putin has advertised the project as a complement rather than alternative to the Ukrainian transit route. Even in Germany where support for the pipeline is high, ultimate approval may depend on Putin’s credibility on this fact— Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, affirmed that it is “in the interest of Germany and Europe that Ukraine continues to play a role as a transit country for Russian gas”.