The aggravation of Russian aggression against Ukraine is not a reason for stopping the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. This was stated by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
In the top diplomat's opinion, "this will not lead to changes in Russian behavior," Die Welt reports.
"I guess the opposite will happen," said the chief of German diplomacy.
Read also German environmentalists file another lawsuit vs Nord Stream 2 German Defense Minister Anngret Kramp-Karrenbauer, in turn, earlier made clear her support for the idea of imposing a moratorium on the Nord Stream 2 completion. Construction works could at least be suspended. According to the defense chief, even if the gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany, bypassing Ukraine, is completed, its operation should depend on how Moscow behaves [in respect of Ukraine].
Die Welt recalls that Nord Stream 2 has become one of the main stumbling blocks in Germany's relations with the United States. The change of administration in Washington brought no shifts to the situation. The U.S. fears Europe will become overly dependent on Russian gas, therefore Washington threatens to bring construction to a halt through tough sanctions. At the same time, In turn, apologists for Nord Stream 2 believe the U.S. only wants to boost their LNG sales in Europe.
Nord Stream 2: Background
The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two gas pipeline branches with a total throughput capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It should connect Russia's Ust-Lug and Germany's Greifswald. This new pipeline bypassing Ukraine is to be built next to the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
The construction of the pipeline was expected to be completed before the end of 2019.
The pipeline will be 1,220 km long. The project is being implemented by Russia's Gazprom in alliance with a number of European companies. Ukraine stands against the project as it will most likely strip the country of its gas transit country status, while potential annual revenue losses are estimated at US$3 billion. The project is also highly criticized by the U.S., Poland, and the Baltic States.
The United States is urging European allies and private companies to halt works on Nord Stream 2, and is preparing broader sanctions against the Russian project in the coming weeks.
The U.S. Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act 2021, which provides for new sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2.
On January 7, 2021, a fund was established in Germany to support the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project.
On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of State notified European companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 of the risk of imposing new sanctions.
On January 18, 2021, the United States warned allies in Europe about its intention to impose sanctions on the Russian ship Fortuna, which is engaged in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
On February 22, 2021, the United States imposed new sanctions on the Russian FORTUNA vessel building Nord Stream 2.
As of February 23, 2021, eighteen European companies at once refused to partake in completing the construction of Nord Stream 2 over fears of U.S. sanctions.
On March 4, 2021, the construction of Nord Stream 2 in Danish waters was extended by late September.
On March 14, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said that Europe does not need the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
On March 18, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky branded Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline a trap for all countries across Europe.
Translation: Yevgeny Matyushenko