If Russia invades Ukraine and forces Berlin’s major gas suppliers to fight its most important security ally, Germany could fall into a win-win situation.
Prime Minister Olaf Scholz will face pressure from the United States and other western allies to respond to any invasion by shutting down the recently completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany.
However, doing so risks exacerbating Europe’s gas supply crisis, which has been widely criticized for lack of gas flow from Russia, and has soared Europe’s energy prices.
Soaring prices have hit businesses and consumers across the region, including low-income workers in Germany, where the Social Democratic Party of Schortz (SPD) relies on voting.
Marcel Dilsus, a non-resident fellow at the Institute of Security Policy at Keele University, said:
“The Schorz administration wants to keep Americans happy because it is Germany’s most important ally outside of Europe, but they don’t want to irritate Russians. It’s difficult.”
Russia gathers a large number of troops near the border with Ukraine, https: //www.reuters.com/world/blinken-arrives-berlin-ukraine-talks-with-european-allies-2022-01-20, to the west Requested security. However, it denies plans to invade former Soviet neighbors.
Any aggression can cause new international sanctions on Russia, and measures against Nord Stream 2 are widely regarded as one of the most powerful ways to put pressure on Moscow.
However, Schortz, who replaced Chancellor Angela Merkel at the end of last year, has already faced disagreements in the coalition government on how far Germany’s sanctions on Nord Stream 2 should go if Russia attacks Ukraine. There is.
Greens is against fossil fuels and wants to dispose of projects awaiting regulatory approval. They also want to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a clear signal that military aggression abroad and undemocratic practices at home will not be rewarded by gas contracts.
The Free Democratic Party (FDP) of professional business also suggests that it prefers a stricter approach to Russia.
Scholtz is satisfied with both his coalition partner and senior members of the party, such as Defense Minister Christine Rambrecht, who said Nord Stream 2 that flows under the Baltic Sea and bypasses Ukraine’s territory should not be dragged into Ukraine. Hope to find a compromise that will let you. crisis.
The most populous and largest economy in the European Union is at risk of appearing fragmented, and Schortz is at risk of appearing weak if he does not show solid leadership in the crisis.
“Shortz seems too reluctant and absent,” said Gwendolyn Sasse, senior fellow at Carnegie Europe, suggesting that he should be trying to play a bigger role in the EU.
SPD is proud to be the natural heir to Germany’s pioneering “Ostpolitik” policy of opening up to the Soviet Union in the 1970s. But other European nations want to do more to protect their eastern neighbors, who are nervous about what Germany sees as a Russian invasion, predicting Europe’s influence. ..
Schortz can turn to polls showing that about 60% of Germans are returning to Nord Stream 2, says Torsten Benner of the Institute for Global Public Policy (GPPi).
“There are also concerns about fairness for Schortz. The United States is a major importer of Russian crude oil, but has not promised to stop imports while Germany is expected to stop Nord Stream 2.” Said Benner.
Germany’s energy prices in December rose 69% compared to December 2020. Russian military action in Ukraine could push them even higher.
“In the case of an aggression, gas prices will rise. All bets have been invalidated,” said Hanskönig, an energy analyst at Aurora Energy Research.
The government then faced pressure to subsidize low-income Germans and manufacturers who depend on gas for production, further straining the already expanding finances of the coronavirus crisis. prize.
Some European politicians say Russia can do more to reduce European prices and consumer bills, accusing Moscow of using the energy situation for political purposes.
“Natural gas flows from Russia are at historically low levels,” König said. “Russia prioritizes the routes it owns and sends far fewer routes through other routes than it has ever done.”
Russia has denied manipulating supplies, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergeĭ Viklov visited Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock this week, saying that attempts to politicize the Western Nord Stream 2 project would be “reverse”. rice field.
Dirsus said Schortz is unlikely to kill the project, but can impose a moratorium on the project in the event of an intrusion.
“This is a step designed to show Americans and other allies that Germany is responding, but at the same time it will signal Russia that the project may still be resurrected.” He said.
(Additional report by Andreas Rinke, Sabine Siebold, Rene Wagner in Berlin, Vera Eckert and Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt, additional report by Kate Abnett in Brussels, edited by Timothy Heritage)
https://www.oedigital.com/news/493688-in-ukraine-crisis-germany-faces-tough-decisions-over-nord-stream-2-pipeline Germany faces tough decisions during the Ukrainian crisis