After the US sanctions, what is the importance of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline?

Earlier this week, Germany announced that the project would be halted after Russia took steps to move its forces into eastern Ukraine.

“Today, I directed my administration to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and the officials of its subsidiaries,” Biden said in a statement. “These steps are another part of the initial tranche of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.”

“Through his actions, President Putin has provided the world with an overwhelming incentive to turn away from Russian gas and other forms of energy,” Biden added.

What is the significance of Nord Stream 2?

Nord Stream 2 crosses five countries; It is (Russia, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Sweden) through the Ost Luga region in the Gulf of Finland, extending into the Baltic Sea and reaching northeastern Germany at the city of Greifswald. Berlin’s main dependence on Russian gas imports; The second line – stretching 1,230 kilometers under the Baltic Sea – doubles Russian gas supplies to Germany at competitive prices.

Nord Stream 2 is planned to transport a total of 55 billion cubic meters of gas to Germany (doubling the total quantities of Russian gas to Germany to 110 billion cubic meters annually), to transport gas from Germany to the rest of Western Europe through the natural gas network.

The cost of the line amounted to approximately 11 billion US dollars, and it is managed exclusively by the Russian giant Gazprom, and five companies participated in its financing; At the head of them are the Dutch “Shell” company, in addition to the French “Angie” and the Austrian “OMV Group”, together with the German “Uniper” and “Wintershall Dia”.

In September 2021, it was announced that the implementation of the project had been completed, but the German Network Agency suspended its approval in conjunction with the great turmoil surrounding it, given it as a new Russian weapon against the European Union.

mutual losses

The expert in energy affairs, Al-Mohanad Al-Hashbul, tells Sky News Arabia, that European gas stocks are better now and there is an abundance in them, because withdrawals are less than the stock, and perhaps the reason is that the winter this year was not very cold and therefore did not put a strong pressure on energy stocks. .

Al-Hashbul pointed out that if the issue of energy is used in political conflicts, no one will be in a position to win because Europe depends heavily on energy imports from Russia, and according to census data in the European Union in 2019, 47 percent of coal imports came from Russia, and 27 percent of coal imports came from Russia. percent of oil imports and its products, and 42 percent of gas imports from Russia as well. In return, Russia will lose tens of billions that it earns from exporting these products to the European continent.

geopolitical gain
Amr El-Deeb, a lecturer at the Institute of International Relations at the Russian Nizhny Novgorod University, believes that Russia pays great attention to the Nord Stream 2 project. In order to fully link the European gas market with Russia, and in order to increase Europe’s dependence on Russia in the field of gas, allowing Russia in one way or another to influence some European countries, and to increase European-Russian cooperation more clearly.

The political analyst indicates to “Sky News Arabia”, that Moscow “wants to increase its interaction with the countries of Europe separately, and not with the European Union as a bloc, and the aim is to break the European unity in favor of increasing Russian cooperation with the major countries within the European Union,” explaining that the draft project Nord Stream 2 is a purely Russian-German cooperation, and without this cooperation, the project would not have reached its final stages now, pending some permits.

Al-Deeb believes that if the work begins, “it will be a great geopolitical gain for Russia and the Russian leadership,” explaining that “this project is not a point of contention, but rather comes from within the areas of Western pressure on Russia, because when the United States wants to pressure Moscow, we hear statements from it that it will be done.” Suspension of the project and imposing penalties on the companies participating in it.

But he stresses that “the project has reached its final stage, and Germany has invested a lot of money in it, not just Russia. Therefore, the project will inevitably be completed due to Europe’s real need for Russian gas… It seems that there is a German-Russian-American agreement to complete the matter in the event that Russia does not invade Ukraine, and if it invades Ukraine.” Russia Ukraine Stopping the line will be the first Western decisions against Russia.

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