Germany Submits to Russia, Approves Kremlin-Backed Gas Pipeline | NTK Network Germany Submits to Russia, Approves Kremlin-Backed Gas Pipeline

Germany Submits to Russia, Approves Kremlin-Backed Gas Pipeline

The new pipeline will increase European dependency on Russia's main export, critics worry, and it could leave Ukraine vulnerable to further Russian attack.

By NTK Staff | 03.28.2018 @3:00pm
Germany Submits to Russia, Approves Kremlin-Backed Gas Pipeline

Following a near-universal decision to rebuke Moscow in the wake of a Russian chemical attack in the United Kingdom, Germany approved the construction of a Russian gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, on Tuesday, according to EUobserver.

Nord Stream 2’s construction would quicken the flow of Russian natural gas into Europe, increasing the continent’s dependence on Russian exports for its energy production.

According to the EUobserver, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is unconcerned with the problems raised by the pipeline’s approval:

The pipeline is a purely “economic project”, German chancellor Angela Merkel and foreign minister Heiko Mass recently reaffirmed.

Those views are diametrically opposed to positions taken by most EU states, EU institutions, and the US.

The pipeline, which will concentrate 80 percent of Russian gas sales to the EU on the German route, will help the Kremlin to blackmail other European states with supply cuts and will make a mockery of international sanctions imposed over Russia’s aggression in the UK and in Ukraine, its critics have said.

Growing dependence on Russian gas could hinder Europe’s efforts to respond to the Kremlin’s aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere.

Bob Seely, a Conservative MP in the United Kingdom, called the approval a “big victory for [the] Kremlin,” according to EUobserver’s Andrew Rettman.

According to the Financial Times, Gazprom, the state-run Russian gas giant, accounts for 40 percent of the continent’s gas supplies, and Nord Stream 2 “would double supplies to Germany.”

And in late 2017, Russia’s state-run English language outlet, RT, published an ominous article that seemingly threatened Europe with an energy crisis. The article – “How long can Europe survive without Russian gas?” – argued that if Moscow cut off gas supplies to Europe, many countries would face an energy emergency in under two weeks:

Other countries in Europe are even more dependent on Russian gas than Italy or Germany, and will last even less than Italy’s two weeks, the analyst said.

“Dependence of Slovenia, Greece, and Hungary is at a level of 41 to 45 percent. Without gas from Russia, they will face a strong energy deficit in about 10 days,” Pushkarev said.

Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia are close to being almost 100 percent dependent on Russian gas, the analyst added.

Europe’s dependence on Russian gas seems only to be rising, leaving the continent’s countries even more vulnerable to the Kremlin’s energy blackmail.

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