Germany’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline with Russia ‘Terrible Mistake’, Bipartisan Consensus in US Has It
US opposition to Nord Stream 2 has become more intensified as the construction of the second Russia – Germany Baltic Sea pipeline is progressing.
Germany’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline connecting it to Russia has achieved the rare feat of uniting the Republicans and the Democrats in the US Congress, with both deeming it to be “a terrible mistake”.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, already well under construction, is supposed to double the capacity of the already existing Nord Stream pipeline bringing natural gas directly from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, thus circumventing the traditional transit countries in Eastern Europe.
Nord Stream has been in operation since 2011, while the construction of Nord Stream 2 started in May 2018.
The United States and a number of EU member states as the EU institutions in Brussels have been expressing misgivings to Germany about the expansion of its joint natural gas pipeline with Russia, arguing it would boost Russia’s influence in Europe at a time when the West is at odds with Moscow over the latter’s encroachments against Ukraine in Crimea and Donbass.
Despite all criticism from its allies and some domestic political figures, Germany has proceeded with the construction of Nord Stream 2.
In the United States, the bipartisan consensus in Congress is invariably against Nord Stream 2, regardless of the fact that the general public is not aware of the project, DW writes in a report.
“US citizens might not be up to date on European energy security, but there is bipartisan agreement among politicians and experts,” says Agnia Grigas, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank and author of the book “The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas.”
“Putin’s pipeline is a trap,” Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso told the energy and environment website E&E News in May, it reminds.
“Germany seems ready to put its head in the noose. I think it’s a terrible mistake,” Barrasso added.
More recently, Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire joined forces with Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas proposed a bill stipulating sanctions against companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2.
According to Shaheen, Russia is looking to use cheap gas as a way to monopolize the European energy market, threatening stability in the region.
“[The US cannot simply look the other way] while the Kremlin builds this Trojan horse,” she said.
“Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal for Europe and for Germany. It would strengthen Russia’s political influence in Germany and allow the flow of corruption into Europe,” said in turn Grigas of the Atlantic Council.
She saw a discrepancy between Germany’s efforts to bring about peace in Ukraine and “putting cash in the Kremlin’s coffers” with Nord Stream 2.
In her words, Germany must wake up to the fact that there are “more gas exporters” on the market today, and that Berlin does not have to make itself dependent upon Russia to cover its energy needs.
US President Donald Trump is described as “the loudest” critic of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline by declaring Germany was making itself “hostage to Russia.”
In a guest commentary piece for DW in February 2019, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell wrote that Germany and Europe were making themselves dependent on Russia.
“European Union reliance on Russian gas presents risks for Europe and the West as a whole and makes us all less secure. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will heighten Europe’s susceptibility to Russia’s energy blackmail tactics,” wrote Grenell, along with the US Ambassadors to Denmark and the EU.
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