Nord Stream 2

Context:

  • Germany is ready to discuss halting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline should Russia attack Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday, responding to increasing domestic and international pressure amid a Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders.
  • “It is clear that there will be a high price to pay and that everything will have to be discussed should there be a military intervention in Ukraine,” Mr. Scholz told reporters, responding to a question on Nord Stream 2 after meeting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

About:

  • In 2015, the Russian energy major Gazprom and five other European firms decided to build Nord Stream 2, valued at around $11 billion.
  • The 1,200-km pipeline will run from Ust-Luga in Russia to Greifswald in Germany through the Baltic Sea, and will carry 55 billion cubic metres of gas per year

Why is the pipeline controversial?

  • Since it was first planned, Nord Stream 2 has drawn criticism from the US, where both the Democratic and Republican parties believe that the project would increase Europe’s dependence on Russia for natural gas, thus emboldening its leader Vladimir Putin.
  • Currently, EU countries already rely on Russia for 40 per cent of their gas needs.
  • The project also has opponents in eastern Europe, especially Ukraine, whose ties with Russia have seriously deteriorated in the aftermath of the Crimean conflict in 2014.
  • There is an existing pipeline between Russia and Europe through Ukraine, once the NS2P project is completed it would bypass Ukraine and deprive it of a significant transit fee of around $ 3 billion per year.

Source: THE HINDU.

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