The head of the State Duma Committee on Science Vyacheslav Nikonov proposes to carry out the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline bypassing Denmark.
“Denmark announced its intention to delay the construction of Nord Stream-2.” For the project, this is almost harmless: bypassing Danish waters will extend the pipe by 10-12 miles. A slight rise in price is offset by the lack of a “bottom fee” to Copenhagen, ”Nikonov said.
“The Danish demarche is, first of all, evidence of a sharp drop in the influence in the EU of Germany and personally Merkel, who is for Nord Stream-2.” Before, the Danes would not have dared, ”he added.
Denmark is the last state to grant permission to lay the second branch of Nord Stream-2. Today, Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen, during a speech at a conference on Ukrainian reforms, acknowledged that this project has a political component.
The prime minister confirmed that Denmark would insist on a pan-European decision on the gas pipeline’s compliance with EU law.
Rasmussen said that he had repeatedly discussed this issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and felt a change in her position recently.
US asks Allies in Europe not to support Nord Stream 2
The United States continues to view the second string of Nord Stream as a political project that should not be completed.
This was stated in a commentary by the US Under Secretary of State John Sullivan.
The diplomat stressed that this pipeline will not help diversify gas supplies to Europe, since gas will go from the same fields and to the same regions, and the only difference is that it will bypass Ukraine.
Nord Stream will not increase gas supplies to Europe, so this project is purely political. And it seems to me that Chancellor Merkel has also begun to recognize this in recent months, ”he said.
“We consider Nord Stream to be a very bad idea for energy diversification in Europe, which is very harmful for Ukraine, so the US does not support it and advises its allies in Europe not to support this project,” added John Sullivan.
The White House takes on Nord Stream 2
It seems that the darkest times begin for the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, and more precisely, for its investors.
The fact is that the US media is now actively discussing the preparation by the White House of the next package of sanctions, but not against the Russian side directly, but those companies that invest in the construction of a highly spiritual pipe in excess of $ 5 million. -pipes.
Wintershall, Uniper, Royal Dutch Shell, OMV and Engie may very soon be on the blacklist of the US Treasury, which is fraught with serious consequences for these companies. And the benefits of cooperation with Russia in this field will be very doubtful.
It is possible to speak with confidence that the package of restrictions regarding Nord Stream-2 will be released, if only for the reason that he is lobbied by such hawkish hawks as National Security Advisor John Bolton and Deputy State Department for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell. In addition, the Russian pipe does not fit in with the US plans for its energy expansion.
It is worth noting that the time for delivering such a blow is quite suitable. The pipe is almost completely built, investors have invested 2 billion euros in its construction, and in the event of the imposition of sanctions, Russia will not only lose the pipe itself, but also incur enormous losses.
The situation with opposition to the construction of the pipe of the Danish government, which opposes SP-2, also plays into the hands of the White House. This issue is still being discussed by the leadership of this country, but, most likely, Gazprom will have to change the route bypassing Denmark, and this is an additional cost and time delay.
Well, Nord Stream-2 has already risen in price since the start of its construction by $ 1.5 billion, from $ 9 billion to $ 10.5 billion. If, thanks to Denmark, it becomes more expensive by another 500 million or a billion, then this will suit everyone who this pipe is across the throat. And after – you can put an end to.
Experts told when to expect a new “gas war” with Russia
The Russian Federation can play the card of the new-old gas war with Ukraine, by shutting off the valve and “freezing” gas transit to Europe through the Ukrainian gas transportation system, in December this year. This can not only play against Ukraine at the height of the presidential election campaign (which will officially start just in mid-December), but also push Europe to complete the Nord Stream-2.
This was stated by the president of the Center for Global Studies “Strategy XXI” Mikhail Gonchar.
According to him, in 2019, the transit contract between Ukraine and Russia expires. And on January 1, 2020, Russia, taking advantage of this, can stop transit through Ukraine – this is one of the options. The expert draws attention to the actions of Gazprom in the Stockholm arbitration and other judicial instances, where he is trying to prematurely terminate the transit contract, which in principle looks strange, because the contract expires one and a half years. But this is precisely the element of the future crisis scenario for which they are preparing.
“But there is another that may happen earlier. Gas weapons work efficiently in winter. When the Nord Stream-2 has not yet been completed, Russia will look for additional arguments to force the Europeans to complete it or to give the necessary building permits. I emphasize that the gas crises of both 2006 and 2009 stimulated the completion of the first Nord Stream. Therefore, according to Russian logic, another crisis is needed in order for these Europeans in Brussels to say: “We have already shown you that Ukraine has been an unreliable transit link”. Of course, now they will not be able to do so easily. But they can seriously prepare for this. Let’s imagine that we are starting the presidential campaign in the winter and spring of 2018-2019. The peak of the campaign, the peak of cold weather, and just according to Russian logic, the next gas crisis will be very useful, ”
According to Aleksey Melnyk, co-director of foreign policy and international security programs, Ukraine needs to model all these crisis situations, as this allows our likely adversary to understand how high his risks are as well.
“The Russian leadership is obsessed with this idea – they are fighting with the whole world. We need to understand that we are dealing with an enemy who does not want good for us and is unlikely to change, because, as we know, it is not Putin. We need to prepare for long-term resistance and strengthen our ability to withstand these threats. For Ukraine, it is extremely important now to try to simulate situations, including the worst. In order to demonstrate our readiness even to stop the transit and show that for us this is not the end of the world, ”said Alexey Melnik.