US wants to block Nord Stream 2

The US government apparently wants to prevent the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from going ahead. According to observers, US authorities are working out plans for sanctions on companies that take part in the construction of the pipeline that is to link Russia and Germany. While some commentators criticise Trump for seeking to influence Europe's energy policy, others find the idea not bad at all.

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Izvestia (RU) /

Trump controlling the gas supply

Nord Stream 2 would bring gas directly from Russia to Germany without transit via Ukraine. Izvestia examines the various interests at play here:

“The big natural gas consumers in the EU are concerned about the state of the Ukrainian gas transport system. It could collapse at any moment as a result of years of under-financing. ... But for the US the implementation of this project also means that it could no longer influence Russia's gas relations with the EU via the Ukrainian government. That is far more important to the US than the possibility of US producers being able to sell their over-priced gas to the Europeans.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

German taxpayers financing Putin's wars

With the construction of Nord Steam 2 Russia will gain even more influence over European energy markets, British Tory MP Robert Seely warns in The Daily Telegraph:

“Although states such as Poland and Lithuania have weaned themselves off Russian energy, Germany is partially dependent - 75 per cent of its natural gas supply comes from Russia. Effectively, the German taxpayer has been paying for Russia's wars in Georgia and Ukraine as well as its general rearming. In the next few years Russia wants to double its energy supply capacity by building the geopolitically critical Nord Stream II pipeline to Germany. ... It will arguably give Russian gas even greater importance in European energy supplies at a time when EU states should be looking elsewhere.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Project should be buried

Not even economic arguments support the construction of the gas pipeline, Dagens Nyheter concurs:

“From a purely economic perspective Nord Stream 2 is already questionable. ... There's other gas on the market. Demand will decrease as a result of climatic factors. So the politics can't be ignored. Gazprom, the owner of the pipeline, is an extension of the Kremlin. Crimea has shown us that Russia can't be relied on. The conflict over Nord Stream 2 is dividing both the EU and Nato - a strategic dream for Putin, who also mobilises hackers to destabilise Western democracies. The gas pipeline should be buried. But not in the Baltic.”