November 19, 2018
Every day the Nord Stream 2 project is becoming more and more popular. We hear dispersedly about those benefits and prospects which this project promises. Nevertheless, so frank euphoria is absolutely strange. In fact, not all countries will benefit from the project, but in consequence we will pay off all together. At first sight it may seem that Germany’s energy dependence on Russia, which with implementation of Nord Stream 2 will increase from present 55% to 80%, will create problems both economic and political only for the Germans. At the same time, you should not forget that Germany, despite the undoubtedly strong economic positions, is a member of the European Union. According to the European legislation its problems in case those arise (and they will arise of course) will lay down on shoulders of all the European community. And only some experts have already paid attention that Nord Stream 2 project’s price may actually be too high. That is exactly what Thierry Bros, who is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies where he is in charge of the Quarterly Gas Review, a visiting professor at SciencesPo Paris and a senior expert at Energy Delta Institute, is telling. According to him, “there is the issue of the European legislation. We have legislation on security of supply binding us to act collectively. If a country is exclusively dependent on one supplier, does it meet the N-1 regulation (readiness for action in case of the disruption of a major gas source)? What if there is a problem? It does not have to be the Russians; it can be a technical problem… According to the legislation, in case there is a problem in Germany, we will have to switch off the French, the Polish, the Hungarians, and the Italians to provide gas to the Germans. Germany is not following all those EU rules. The problem is that – contrary to what Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin stated at their August meeting – Nord Stream 2 is a political project, not only commercial. Eventually Angela Merkel had to admit after many, many months that Nord Stream 2 is not only commercial, but also a political project. And if it’s political, it has to be discussed with the other EU Member States. Brussels has tried to stop Nord Stream 2 in different ways, because it wants some Ukrainian transit. A WTO ruling is generally in favour of Brussels’ decisions. The Commission now knows it can push for more unbundling. The power of Brussels is a bit stronger. Germany shows absolutely no sign of willingness of entering into a decent, fair bargaining. Merkel was one of the leading figures at the European level when France had a weak government. That’s over. France is back on track, Greece, Portugal and Spain are back on track. There is a unity.” It is also necessary to remind that earlier, in Vilnius, heads of parliaments of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia signed the letter with the danger warning of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline addressed to heads of parliaments of the European countries. Later Nord Stream 2 was also opposed by Estonia. It is absolutely clear that Nord Stream 2 not only violates the provisions of the European legislation in the energy, which reduces monopoly power of electricity and gas suppliers, but it poses obvious threat for all EU MS. Nevertheless, despite all ‘not benefits’ and disagreement of many states, the project of the gas pipeline construction is being still implemented. Let’s ask for whose benefits the European politicians supporting the Nord Stream 2 project act?
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