Nord Stream 2: with Europe already divided, the US adds a new layer of geopolitical complexity

When Gazprom officially launched plans to build the second Nord Stream gas pipeline system to Germany in June 2015, the accusations that Gazprom’s main aim was to increase its dominance over European gas came thick and fast. When five European majors from five EU member states (Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK) all joined the Nord Stream 2 project, it left Europe essentially divided — those in northwest Europe who supported the pipeline and those strongly opposed, mostly countries in eastern Europe. The previous US administration was notionally opposed to the project, with former Secretary of State John Kerry warning of its impact on the countries of eastern Europe — and in particular Ukraine — given the anticipated fall in transit revenues and concern over the fact that so much Russian gas could be delivered to Europe via just one route. But now the US has joined the complex geopolitical web being spun around Nord Stream 2 with concrete action, the Senate last week proposing sanctions against companies that invest in Russian energy pipelines. The sanctions are not a done deal yet by any means, but the reaction from Germany and Austria — home to Nord Stream 2

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Source: CTRM Center

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