The head of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, in his article for Spiegel, told under what conditions Russia will be able to complete the construction of Nord Stream-2.
He recalled that now some EU countries and the United States are putting serious pressure on Germany to prevent the implementation of the project. Nevertheless, the diplomat believes that halting construction is “a very bad idea” as it will entail a painful trial with the prospect of causing multibillion-dollar damage to Gazprom and the unfinished gas pipeline at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
“Whether someone likes it or not, Germany and other European countries will need Russian gas for many years to come”, – Ischinger recalled.
In his opinion, there is a “less attractive” option, involving the completion of Nord Stream-2, provided that the operation of the pipeline will depend on the decisions of the EU and the behavior of Russia. The diplomat emphasizes that for this it is necessary to take three steps.
First, Germany should introduce an emergency shutdown mechanism for Nord Stream-2 with the possibility of EU access to it.
Second, Berlin could offer Brussels and Washington a “Euro-Atlantic Energy Treaty,” proclaiming an early transition to renewable energy sources, strengthening the integrity of the European gas market and strengthening support for Ukraine and its economic development. According to Ischinger, Moscow could join this agreement.
Thirdly, Germany can link the start of the gas pipeline with Russia’s fulfillment of a number of political conditions, such as the Ukrainian issue and the case of Alexei Navalny.
The head of the Munich conference stressed that whatever approach was chosen, Berlin must coordinate its actions with the European Commission, the United States and partners in Eastern Europe to support the “new transatlantic romance” and turn “an unnecessary millstone around Germany’s neck” into a “strategic trump card.”
Nord Stream-2 envisages the construction of two lines of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany. Most of the pipes have already been laid, about 148 kilometers of the total length of 2,460 kilometers remained unfinished: 120 of them are in the waters of Denmark and 28 are in Germany.Houthis announce strikes on targets in Riyadh