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  • North Stream two.

  • I said, Why is Germany spending billions and billions of dollars to Russia to get their energy from Russia?

  • And then we're supposed to protect Germany from Russia?

  • What's that all about?

  • So close.

  • Yet so far, the Nord Stream two pipeline meant to carry gas from Russia to Germany is nearly finished.

  • But Germany is still having to defend the project from critics who say it hands undue influence to Russia.

  • Our opinion is that Nord Stream two should be completed.

  • It is a project that is run by Russian and European industries.

  • It would send a strong signal for Germany to say right now that it will withdraw from this project that comes at the expense of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Poland that would help unify Europe.

  • This pipeline splinters it it today we're coming to you from the Gaza Meter in the heart of Berlin.

  • Now it's hard to imagine now, but gas used to be pumped into homes from gas supply tanks like this one built in 1910.

  • Now it's been decommissioned a long time ago.

  • But the question of how to power Germany or Europe is an enduring one for Germany at least part of the answer for the future lies in the Nord Stream two pipeline.

  • Now that's a controversial choice on.

  • We'll get into why.

  • But first, here's a closer look at the project.

  • All seemed well between Germany and Russia back in 2018 when Vladimir Putin and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder celebrated the start of construction work on North Stream two.

  • The North Stream two pipeline is set to carry 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Germany directly every year, without passing through either Ukraine or Poland.

  • The gas will travel from the city of V Berg in Russia, along the 2400 kilometer underwater pipeline through the Baltic Sea to the German coast.

  • It's almost complete there just 150 kilometers still to be laid.

  • But in July this year, the US threatened sanctions against all individuals and companies involved in the pipeline.

  • Work on the project halted.

  • It even looked like it might be scrapped much toe Washington's delight.

  • In 1973 the first gas shipments from the former Soviet Union arrived in West Germany.

  • It was the height of the oil crisis and the U s was furious.

  • Since then, the Soviet Union and later Russia have worked hard to step up energy supplies to Germany, even though there have been plenty of political conflicts between the two countries over the years, like when the Soviet army marched into Afghanistan in 1979 to rescue its shaky communist regime, or when Vladimir Putin annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in 2014.

  • So far, Germany has always endeavored to separate politics from its economic interests when it comes to Russia.

  • But that could now change with the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

  • Pressure is mounting on Chancellor Angela Merkel to take a firm stance how to deal with Russia.

  • For many, that's what the question around Nord Stream two is really about.

  • This pipeline gives Russia one money and to regional influence handed to them by Europe's power player.

  • Germany and some European countries, like Poland and the Baltic states, argue that the pipeline makes Europe too dependent on Russian gas, and the fact that the project bypasses Ukraine means that Russia can turn off supplies there while still delivering to and earning from gas sent to Western Europe.

  • Bad politics shouldn't be rewarded with good business.

  • At least that's what the critics say.

  • Others again argue against conflating too many layers.

  • Here's Michael Harms of the German Eastern Business Association because we need a reaction towards all these Russian interference.

  • But we would say that stop or to scrap the North Cering too.

  • But we not the adequate reaction because these two things are not interconnected.

  • Oh, I mean we need first of all, with any sanctions We need a clear political goal.

  • What is to clear political goal in this atmosphere?

  • I hear only stop Putin.

  • Sorry, this is not a reliable and and clear political goal.

  • Second, you need an instrument who can act as a leverage to achieve this political goal.

  • Both things I do not see.

  • In that case Oh, the best way would be to stick Thio just rule of law on investment security because again, the Project waas completely approved within European regulation and investment security is value for itself.

  • So therefore we can have a political discussion.

  • But the best way is to stick to clear regulation.

  • And if not, if we take the political decision to stop the project and it Z, we should clarify that within a also reliable legal framework and that would be very problematic in that case.

  • So if I understand correctly, the clear European position should be that this project was approved under European regulations and stopping it now could be illegal.

  • Exactly exactly eso we're still believing that the project will be implemented again.

  • We think it is a very important European project.

  • We think that reliability, off investment decisions and off our legal framework is very important for us, very important for Europe, for Russia and also for Germany.

  • And we think that will be a project which does not only physically connect Europe with Russia, but also mentally and maybe even will be a future project off our common challenges to fight common challenges in Europe.

  • Loftier goals of a united Europe are one thing, but let's not forget this was a really expensive project to build and if it came to it will be a really expensive project to stop.

  • Take a look 50% off North Stream Two shares are owned by Russian energy company Gazprom.

  • The other half are divided between five European companies.

  • Gazprom would have to write off around five billion euros of investment, marking them as losses.

  • The rest of the shares are divided among German companies.

  • Winters, Holland, You Nipper, Energy from France Oh, and Re from Austria and British Dutch companies Shell.

  • These partners have all invested 950 million euros each, and they could demand compensation from the German government on the company's might even go to the international courts to sue for loss of income.

  • But it's not just that scrapping the pipeline might result in higher gas prices for consumers.

  • Given the dwindling supply of gas in the Northern Sea, the best and cheapest alternative would be additional supply from Russia.

  • So goes the argument anyway.

  • But experts on the other side of this debate say those costs are a bearable and that the Nord Stream two pipeline is just more trouble than it's worth.

  • Time to speak to Claudia Comfort of the German Institute for Economic Research Way don't need a further pipeline.

  • We don't need North Stream two.

  • We have enough existing pipelines right now, the geopolitical Queiroz air so intense that we should really think over whether we should really stick to this very expensive, unnecessary and also conflicting pipeline right now it does not function as a check.

  • I think because we could negotiate in many ways we could cooperate in so many ways we could cooperate on renewable energy.

  • We could cooperate on hydrogen on whatever products.

  • But why don't we?

  • Why should we cooperate on fossil natural gas?

  • Because we don't need fossil natural gas in the future because of emission reduction goals and also because we have different goals in Europe toe really simply go for an energy transition.

  • It's very difficult to understand why the Berlin government is still so much focusing on it because I think we think it's a mistake because of economic reasons because of climate policy reasons, because of energy transformation reasons, because we have to diversify energy imports so it contradicts so many goals.

  • It's very difficult to understand why they still still stick to it.

  • Well, actually, the right response would be to follow the energy transformation and go away from fossil fuel in any any kind of source oil, natural gas and coal simply because to avoid these kind of travel.

  • So geopolitical queries which are increasing their some kind of war.

  • Actually, um now, well, it's very difficult to say What is the future right now?

  • Because it's a very difficult project.

  • It's almost finished, so it's most likely that it will be finished.

  • But the question is, though, whether the situation will be better after it, because also the U.

  • S or some strategies.

  • The Russia has some strategies.

  • So it would be wise, really, to to move, to move forward and to go into the future without natural gas.

  • Whatever side of the debate Iran, you probably don't feel as strongly about Nord Stream two as the U.

  • S.

  • Does The U.

  • S.

  • Is against this pipeline, ostensibly because it affords the Kremlin too much control over the European energy market.

  • The Americans also want to sell their own liquefied natural gas to Europe.

  • The Americans, by the way, call it freedom gas, and they're prepared to take a drastic measures in order to prevent the pipelines completion Drastic measures like sanctions.

  • In fact, ever tightening sanctions on the company's working on the pipeline have already caused a de facto suspension of the project.

  • The latest target has been the port of Micron in the resort town of Sassen.

  • It's that's where the last of the pipe laying operations were being held.

  • Senators Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Tom Cotton wrote a letter to the ports pledging quote crushing legal and economic sanctions for the board members, shareholders and employees working on the pipeline.

  • Well, that's something that people there did not appreciate.

  • What does Trump have to do with it?

  • Nothing.

  • He should stay where he is and let Europe do its thing.

  • Thes air Trump's political death throes.

  • He won't be reelected.

  • I hope he won't be reelected.

  • We don't need a clown like that in world politics.

  • E think Sassen.

  • It's knows how to defend itself against such a threatening letter.

  • This construction has been in preparation for a long time Now it's all supposed to get tor down.

  • We're not going to stand for it.

  • In case you haven't gotten it yet.

  • Germany is in a tight spot.

  • There are those who say proceeding with a pipeline is enabling Russia and others still who say not completing it is bowing down to the U.

  • S.

  • The Nord Stream two pipeline is more than just the pipeline.

  • The debate around it has become a proxy discussion for how Germany engages with the rest of the world.

North Stream two.

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Energy security, EU relations and political power plays: What the Nord Stream 2 debate is all about

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/23
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