Date: 5 March 2021
The Nord Stream 2 and energy security in Central Europe
“We support the approach that does not aim at sanctioning anyone but rather to level the playing field across energy suppliers in Europe,” Tomasz Kijewski, President of the Warsaw Institute tells CEENERGYNEWS, adding that true opposition to Nord Stream 2 is not about anti-Russian policy but it is a fight for fairness and competition on the European energy market.
Europe is currently over-reliant on Russia when it comes to energy supply, granting Kremlin an unnecessary strategic, political, and economic leverage over European governments. Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream pipeline projects are explicit attempts to destabilize Ukraine through diminishing its role in the transit of Russian gas. Poland was an “early recogniser” of that fact.
From the perspective of Poland, such investments are geopolitical threats. This is mainly due to the European market’s dependence on Russian gas supplies. Nord Stream would be capable of supplying in total ab. 110 bcm (3,885 bcf) of natural gas to Europe annually. For comparison, Poland consumes only 16 – 17 bcm (565-600 bcf) of it every year. Hence, the need to search for alternative sources gas supplies to Europe seems economically unreasonable. Yet, concerns of Warsaw arise from the potential inability to negotiate prices with a supplier, which may become a monopolist that has a proper infrastructure to limit gas supplies to Central Europe without doing so to consumers in Western Europe.
Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream pipeline projects undermine the security of Europe, which was stressed in our interview with H.E. Ambassador Virginia Palmer from Bureau of Energy Resources within U.S. Department of State.
The EU countries are divided when it comes to the matter of constructing new Russian gas pipeline. The key here is the role of Germany, which is one of EU’s economic powerhouses and an important NATO member.
European Union, at the supranational level, considers the construction of Nord Stream 2 in the context of the political situation in Russia. As a result of the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny upon his return to Russia in January 2021 and the repression of the opposition in many Russian cities, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling to halt the Nord Stream 2 project. However, this decision was not unequivocally supported by Germany, which continues to back the construction of the gas pipeline.
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