Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Nord Stream 2 Pipeline: 'Germany Puts Its Head In Russia's Energy Pipeline Noose'

Germany Puts Its Head in Russia's Energy Pipeline Noose

  • A report by the Swedish Defense Research Agency found that Russia has threatened to cut energy supplies to Central and Eastern European more than 50 times. Even after some of those states joined the European Union, Russian threats continued.

  • Not surprisingly, Germany's current Social Democratic Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, has criticized the U.S. sanctions as foreign interference. "Decisions on European energy policy are made in Europe, not the USA," he tweeted on December 12. "We fundamentally reject foreign interventions and sanctions with extraterritorial effects."

  • U.S. President Donald Trump, like his predecessor Barack Obama, has opposed the pipeline project. Trump in particular has criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her refusal to increase defense spending while at the same time supporting the pipeline that will funnel billions of dollars to Russia.... "So, we're supposed to protect you against Russia and you pay billions of dollars to Russia and I think that's very inappropriate. Germany will have almost 70 percent of their country controlled by Russia with natural gas. You tell me, is that appropriate?" — U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

  • "One must assume that Putin's pet pipeline is not really a business venture — and that the fools are the Europeans, in particular the Germans.... In short, Nord Stream 2 could make Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states less secure, undermine the EU's security strategy, give Russia a big stick for threatening Eastern Europe and sow discord among NATO allies. To Mr. Putin, causing so much trouble for a mere $11 billion must seem like a bargain. For Europe it is a trap.... The mystery is why Germany has fallen into it and has been twisting French arms to do the same." — The Economist.

U.S. lawmakers have warned that the pipeline would funnel billions of dollars to Moscow and help Russian President Vladimir Putin solidify his influence in Europe. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Senator James Risch, said in a statement:
"Projects such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline are a threat to European energy security and a provocation by the Russian government. Imposing sanctions that will prevent the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is an important tool to counter Russia's malign influence and to protect the integrity of Europe's energy sector.... I hope all parties involved will realize that stopping this project is in the best interest of our friends and allies who wish to curb Putin's efforts to make Europe reliant on Russian energy."
Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen added:
"The Nord Stream 2 project is another means by which Russia can spread its malign influence by exploiting Europe's energy dependence — a tactic that the Kremlin has a history of deploying. Many European leaders have voiced their concerns loud and clear regarding this pipeline and the threat it poses to Europe's independence.... I believe that this bill will help preserve our collective efforts within the transatlantic alliance to counter Russian aggression."

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