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Will the West target Nord Stream 2 to reduce Germany’s dependence on Russia’s gas?

Germany and the United States have warned of imposing sanctions on Moscow, but Russia’s dependence on gas remains problematic for Berlin.

The controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be included in a package of potential sanctions the West is preparing against Russia in the event of an attack on Ukraine.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Thursday that Russia would face “significant consequences” if it attacked Ukraine, despite previously demanding an exemption from the US energy sector.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also hinted at a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltemberg on January 18 that Nord Stream 2 would be included in potential sanctions against Russia.

One of Europe’s most controversial energy projects, Nord Stream 2 aims to bypass the traditional transit country Ukraine and double the amount of gas flowing from Russia to Germany. increase.

US State Department spokesman Edward Price also said Wednesday that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany would “not move forward” if Russia invaded Ukraine.

“I would like to clarify that if Russia somehow invades Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,” Price said. Said..

“I won’t go into details. We’ll work with Germany to keep Germany from moving forward,” he added.

German authorities had previously called for an exemption from the energy sector against a possible US decision by Russian banks to block dollar transactions. Bloomberg..

“We need to carefully check not only what is most effective and what is tough on the outside world,” Bearbock said in a press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week.

The Nord Stream 2 project has become increasingly politicized amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West. This fears that Moscow could prevent Ukraine from attacking Ukraine and building close ties with NATO. Russia denies having such a plan.

What is Nord Stream 2?

Nord Stream 2 is a 1,200-kilometer pipeline that runs underwater from the Baltic coast of Russia to northeastern Germany and carries Russian gas to Europe.

Completed in September, it has not been put into operation due to EU and German certification processes.

The Federal Network Agency, which regulates Germany’s electricity, gas, telecommunications, postal and rail sectors, said in November that it would suspend the process of certifying pipelines and that operators would need to register their legal entity in Germany. I did.

Regulators said Wednesday that the certification process would remain suspended until the transfer of key assets and personnel to the subsidiary was completed and the Federal Network Agency was in a position to confirm the completion of the unit’s documentation.

“Currently, we cannot predict when the procedure will resume,” he said. Said In the statement.

The United States and some Eastern European countries are concerned that Europe is overly dependent on Putin’s Russia in its new pipeline.

Europe and Germany’s dependence on Russia’s gas

Almost 41 percent According to Eurostat data for 2019, the EU’s share of natural gas imports was from Russia.

Gas imports are primarily through pipelines, including Yamal Europe, which crosses Belarus and Poland to Germany, and Nord Stream 1, which goes directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea and Ukraine. Sanctions against Russia can also affect the flow of gas through these pipelines. ..

The European gas market is linked by a network of pipelines. Most countries have reduced Russia’s dependence on gas for many years.

As far as Germany is concerned, it is the largest buyer of gas in Russia, with more than half of its annual demand imported from Russia, which is above the EU average.

Successive German governments did not have their own LNG terminals from the United States and Qatar, so they did not build the infrastructure needed to import the more expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Alternative solution?

Germany can inject natural gas from Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Denmark via the pipeline.

However, Norway, Europe’s second-largest supplier, supplies the largest amount of natural gas and cannot make up for the shortage of supply from Russia, the Prime Minister said.

Southern Europe can receive Azeligas via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline to Italy and the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) via Turkey.

Neighboring countries can transport gas through interconnections, but countries may not want to let go of gas that may be needed, and importers have to pay a high price.

In addition to all this, European gas storage levels are very low in winter, when demand is traditionally highest.

In the long run, the European Commission will propose a system that will allow EU countries to jointly purchase strategic inventories of gas, renovating millions of buildings to save energy and curb CO2 emissions. I am planning to do that.

Some countries have options to close the gap, such as importing electricity from neighboring countries and increasing electricity from nuclear, renewable, hydro and coal.

However, decommissioning, phasing out, and frequent shutdowns have reduced the availability of nuclear power in Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and France.

Under pressure to reach climatic goals, some EU countries have closed old coal-fired power plants. Some countries have coal-fired power plants as a backup supply, but many have already been dismissed due to high gas prices.

Source: TRT World

https://www.trtworld.com/europe/will-the-west-target-nord-stream-2-to-cut-german-dependence-on-russian-gas-54171?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Will the West target Nord Stream 2 to reduce Germany’s dependence on Russia’s gas?

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