Why is the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the headlines amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis?
The project has once again come into the limelight after the latest US warnings about the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The US indicated that the project between Russia and Germany would no longer go ahead.
At the same time, officials in Berlin have said that the project could be banned if Russia attacked Ukraine. Western countries are trying to stop Russia’s possible attacks on Ukraine.
In such a situation, this project of about $ 11 billion has become a major weapon of bargaining. What exactly is this project and how important is it?
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What is Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline?
This gas pipeline project, about 1,200 km long, runs from western Russia to northeast Germany through the Baltic Sea.
Through this project, the goal of doubling the supply of natural gas going from Russia to Germany was set. Currently, gas from Russia to Germany goes through the Nord Stream Pipeline, which was built in 2012.
If this project is successful, then this pipeline will be able to supply 55 billion cubic meters of gas to Germany every year. The owner of this project is the Russian state gas company ‘Gazprom’.
The work on this pipeline was completed in September 2021. But Gazprom is still waiting for approval from European regulators before resuming gas supplies.
After all, why so much controversy about Nord Stream 2?
According to critics, the pipeline is a weapon of Russia’s foreign policy. The project has been strongly opposed by the US, Ukraine, and Poland.
The US fears the pipeline will make Europe more dependent on Russia’s energy. Due to this, Russian President Vladimir Putin will dominate Germany and the European Union. Ukraine also wants this project to be closed.
Although Russia sends most of its gas to Europe through Ukraine, Nord Streams 1 and 2 do not pass through Ukraine.
This means that Ukraine could lose about $2 billion in “transit fees” if the pipeline becomes operational. It gets this amount due to the gas passing through its area now. Ukraine says it is being punished for better relations with the West.
Poland is also unhappy with its neglect to send gas from Russia to Europe. He wants the pipeline to pass through him.
Why is the Nord Stream 2 project so important?
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was postponed, considering it to be sanctioned by Russia. Western countries can pressure Russia not to attack Ukraine with the help of this project that the attack will have to pay a heavy price.
Britain’s Defense Secretary Ben Wallace called the pipeline a weapon and said Western countries could use it against Moscow. He said that this pipeline is one of those weapons, which can be effective in the latest crisis.
This pipeline is important to Russia because it allows gas to go directly to Europe without going to Ukraine. This will save the transit fee paid to Ukraine.
Supporters of the decision to block the pipeline say it will shock Russia. This will affect Russia’s income, but Europe will not have to depend on Russia’s energy.
What will happen if Nord stream 2 does not open?
Europe will have to bear the loss if this pipeline is not opened.
- Europe is already facing rising energy prices and short supplies of Russian gas.
- Germany is in dire need of gas from this pipeline. This will help heat 26 million homes in Germany and make it easier for Germany to switch to renewable energy.
- Germany’s Finance Minister Robert Habeck warned on Wednesday, “If sanctions are imposed, it will also affect Germany’s economy.”
- However, experts say that there will be big dangers of stopping the gas going from Russia to Europe via Ukraine. Many countries have other options for gas supply. For example, Germany can also import gas from Norway, Netherlands, Britain, and Denmark.
- However, Norway, the second largest supplier of gas to Europe, says it is difficult to supply natural gas to Europe anymore. He said that he could not compensate for the gas being shut down from Russia.
- On the other hand, America is also trying to find other options of gas supply for Europe. Its effort is that if the supply of gas from Russia is stopped, then it should have the least impact on Europe.
- But the challenges associated with the transportation of natural gas are also no less.
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