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24.04.2017 - 07: 19

Attempts to disrupt the project "North Stream - 2» do not stop

20 April as the Deputy Chairman of the Board of OJSC "Gazprom", the negotiations on the model of financing Nord Stream-2 project came to final stage. Despite all the efforts of Poland, the project can not lock; It did not happen and the revision of the planned construction schedule. 12 April the project operator company Nord Stream 2 AG has officially confirmed its intention to begin construction in the second quarter, the 2018 and proceed to the gas supply at the end of 2019

We repeat what we have said many times: no economic argument against the construction of the gas pipeline "Nord Stream-2» from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea is not. For all the objections should policy. With the launch of pipeline "Northern stream-2» need for transiting Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine will disappear, and together with this West lose geostrategic leverage on Moscow ( "lever", of course, valid only under the condition that the current mode continues and friendly Kiev Moscow government there does not appear).

Everything is done in the open, politically motivated attempts to disrupt the construction of the "Nord Stream - 2» no secret: As reported in 13 April the German Welt: if the pipeline is built, "the EU will have fewer ways to put pressure [on Russia], for example, in the Ukrainian crisis, or in strategic areas "

More in 2015, in the depths of the Atlantic Council of Ukraine, the recommendations were developed as a "challenge arguments about the risks of transit through the territory of Ukraine, testifying in favor of Nord Stream 2». The most general recommendation - to achieve "independence of Ukraine on Russian gas as much as possible," using the reverse of Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. With regard to the scheme with a thrust reverser, that the countries themselves are also dependent on Russian gas: Poland about 55%, Hungary - on 60%, Slovakia - to 100%.

Ukraine's recommendations fulfilled: in 2016, it bought from Gazprom only 2,4 billion cubic meters. If we recall that once the volume of deliveries of Russian gas reached 40 billion cubic meters per year (Ukraine was the largest importer of gas from the Russian Federation), this reduction would seem incredible. Indeed, it would have been impossible without the efforts of the European Union, which had legalized the reverse gas supply through the existing pipelines and financed the construction of an infrastructure for physical supplies (or their imitation in the case of a virtual reverse, which is now legitimate). At present, 10 international companies earn on reverse deliveries, which Kyiv refuses to call. The scheme is simple: the companies-traders resell gas to Ukraine (including those bought from Gazprom), for which it pays for loans received from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The term of the agreement on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine ends at 2019, and Russia is not interested in concluding a new treaty under the current political conditions. Gas for domestic consumption Kiev now buys on the principle "let it be more expensive, if only not for Russia"; limited to certain activities in Ukraine of subsidiaries of PJSC Gazprom (flights, transportation of goods through Ukraine, call at ports and landing of aircraft in the territory of Ukraine). Instead, the European Commission (EC), however, seeks to maintain the status quo, in which Kiev profits from transit, and European business earns on reselling gas. Following the adoption by the European Commission of the Third Energy Package, which complicated the situation of Gazprom in the European market, at the end of last year, the EC presented for discussion a draft of a new, fourth energy package containing plans to refuse in prospect from fossil fuels in general.

However, Brussels with all its desire is not able to extend the operation of its rules everywhere. He, for example, does not have legal grounds to prevent the construction of the underwater part of the gas pipeline in neutral waters, as was stated in a letter from 28 March, addressed on behalf of the European Commission to the Swedish and Danish energy ministers. The meaning of the letter was that it contained a hidden clue: the European Commission has no legal grounds, but Sweden and Denmark, whose coastal zones to pass physically impossible, could have invented something. At one time, neither Sweden nor Denmark signed an official letter, in which 9 EU countries asked the European Commission to check the project for compatibility with European legislation. From this, however, it does not follow that they refer to the "Nord Stream - 2" favorably or at least neutrally. In December last year, the local authorities of the Swedish islands of Gotland and Blekinge, under pressure from the defense and foreign policy ministers, were forced to abandon the offer to lease their ports, which Nord Stream 2 AG planned to use for logistics purposes. From 7 April and until June in Sweden, so-called public consultations are held on the application for the construction of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline. What they will end, is still unknown.

Next bandwagon project put Denmark. The Danish government launched an initiative to amend national legislation in order to retain the right to prohibit the construction of the pipeline "Nord Stream-2» (the official motive - because of concerns related to foreign policy and security, that is, the economy, and then do not spend the night).

From 18 April on 17 May the public discussion of the project "Nord Stream - 2" takes place in Germany, but here the situation is different. Germany currently consumes almost 87 billion cubic meters of gas per year, of which 93% is imports, domestic gas production is rapidly declining (in 2016, it amounted to 8,6 mdd cubic meters vs. 20 billion cubic meters in 2006). At a meeting with State Duma deputies, the chairman of the Bundestag committee on economics and energy Peter Ramsauer (CSU), having visited the delegation of the committee in Moscow in April, confirmed that the doubts expressed about the project by the countries of Eastern Europe, the US and the European Commission have a purely political basis. "We will do everything to make this project successful," said Peter Ramsauer.

A source: Strategic Culture Foundation

Author: Natalia Meden

Tags: Nord Stream, Russia, Gas, EU, Politics, Business, Research, Sweden, Denmark, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Europe