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Is support for Nord Stream 2 in Germany starting to falter (Video)

RT reports that a U.S. ambassador has reportedly threatened to punish German contributors involved in the multinational Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, and has tried to fan the ‘Russia scare’ to make his point.

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell warned companies based in the country that they may face sanctions from Washington over their participation in the Nord Stream 2 project.

“As you are aware, the United States strongly opposes Nord Stream 2… The pipeline poses serious geopolitical consequences to our European allies and partners,” he wrote in a letter obtained by Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

We continue to stress that firms operating in the Russian energy export pipeline sector are engaging in activities that carry significant sanctions risk,” Grenell asserted.

Every German company contributing to Nord Stream 2 should “consider the danger this project represents to European energy security as well as reputational costs and sanctions risk associated with it,” he added.

The Bild report raised the ire of some German politicians in Berlin. Fabio De Masi, a top Left Party MP, demanded that the government reprimand Grenell, saying“The US Ambassador seems to make an impression that he is a viceroy of the Washington emperor.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Nord Stream 2, and whether the energy pipeline from Russia, into Germany and onwards towards all of Europe, is under threat from U.S. sanctions.

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Via Bloomberg


Nord Stream 2, an $11 billion project that will double the natural gas supply under the Baltic Sea to Germany, faces growing skepticism among German officials who had previously defended it against criticism from Trump and some European Union allies, according to senior lawmakers. The shift could translate into pressure on Merkel’s government to back down on the controversial pipeline and possibly delay its implementation.

Social Democratic lawmaker Nils Schmid, whose party has been a reliable supporter of the project, said too many decision-makers in Berlin had been slow to factor in Nord Stream’s geopolitical significance. It will reduce the volume of gas pumped through Ukraine as Russia attempts to stifle its neighbor’s economy by depriving it of lucrative transit fees.

The 1,220 kilometer (758-mile) Nord Stream 2 undersea link to Germany initiated by Russia in 2015.Source: Gazprom

“The debate in Germany has become more critical,” Schmid, the junior coalition party’s point man on foreign policy, said in an interview, adding that the project shouldn’t go forward until Russia and Ukraine reach a transit accord. “It would have been better to take this political dimension into account.”

Russia’s ‘Captive’

The 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) undersea pipeline — being constructed by Russia’s Gazprom PJSC to bolster German supplies as Norwegian, Dutch and domestic sources dry up — has been pilloried by some of the country’s allies, who say it bolsters Europe’s reliance on Russian energy and bypasses key partners such as Ukraine. Trump has blastedthe project as holding Germany “captive” to Russia.

The ground is shifting, with an ever more fraught relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, particularly since the November seizure of two dozen Ukrainian sailors near the Sea of Azov. Merkel, who has sparred with Putin since the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, is demanding the release of the naval personnel.

The Azov incident in the Kerch Strait has soured prospects that Merkel’s diplomacy can scale back the conflict in eastern Ukraine, according Juergen Hardt, a lawmaker in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union who speaks on foreign affairs.

Unfulfilled Hopes

“The events on the Kerch Strait at least showed me that these are unfulfilled hopes,” Hardt said in an interview. “Russia, in my view, isn’t moving a millimeter from its objectives.”

Hardt said Germany’s governing parties need to find consensus with the European Commission on energy diversification and reliance on Russian gas. He also questioned the economic viability of Nord Stream, poking holes in the government’s previous defense of the project.

Merkel shifted her position on Nord Stream last April, acknowledging the political dimensions of the pipeline and departing from her previous insistence that it was solely a business venture by private investors. The project must not weaken Ukraine by disrupting its gas transmission system, she said at the time.

Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, welcomed the more skeptical view in Berlin, saying the pipeline project undermines the EU’s energy and security objectives.

Russian Influence

“There is not only Russian gas coming through the pipeline, but also Russian influence,” Grenell said in a statement to Bloomberg News. “Now is not the time to reward Moscow.”

The U.S. administration has indicated that sanctions on the pipeline are imminent. Trump brought tensions over Nord Stream into full view at last July’s NATO summit, raising the issue as he attacked Merkel over Germany’s slack defense spending.

U.S. restrictions would potentially hit companies in Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BASF SE’s Wintershall unit, Uniper SE, OMV AG and Engie SA are Gazprom’s partners in the project. The Russian gas giant reported a record 201 billion cubic meters of gas exports to Europe in 2018 and plans to maintain those volumes into 2020.

Simmering Tensions

Schmid maintained that the project, which would double the 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas flowing through the original Nord Stream pipeline that opened in 2011, isn’t in danger. He also defended SPD support, particularly in Germany’s east where, the pipeline makes landfall. But simmering geopolitical tensions are having an effect in Germany.

“Something has changed,” Peter Beyer, the German government’s coordinator for trans-Atlantic relations, said in an interview. He attributed the mood shift on Nord Stream as much to concern about leaving EU allies out in the cold as with Russia’s recent maneuvers. Merkel’s government may have to adjust to the demands of those taking a harder line on Nord Stream, he said.

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Vince DhimosDr. William FusfieldOlivia KrothnomangePhori Recent comment authors
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JNDillard
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JNDillard

Much ado about nothing. Money talks. Nordstream is the only viable economic option. End of story.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

True! The Germans like Nordstream because it brings them cheap gas. USA should shut up, close its military bases and withdraw. Good-bye!

Platon
Guest
Platon

That would make sense if the EU were not The Fourth Reich and just as controlled by the Zionists and Anglo-Zionists as the Third Reich was.

Eric Zuesse
Member

Why is there no discussion in German ‘news’-media regarding the clear and ample and conclusive evidence that the overthrow and replacement of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych was a U.S. coup and the opposite of the ‘democratic revolution’ that the U.S. regime describes it as having been? Even Catherine Ashton came to know the fact on 26 February 2014: see http://archive.is/dYFxJ So, Merkel certainly knows it. Why doesn’t she present the evidence to the German people? Besides being mere basic decency, that would free German firms to continue their partnerships with Russia on the Pipeline. And why doesn’t there… Read more »

Platon
Guest
Platon

All too true, Mr Zuesse. Alas, Germany has been an wholly occupied country since the fall of the USSR (and West Germany was in thrall since 1945). The Church Senate inquiry found that the USA MSM has been controlled by the CIA since 1975, which means that the German MSM has been controlled by them since 1945. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Church_Committee_report_(Book_I,_Foreign_and_Military_Intelligence).pdf WIKI had a pretty good precis of the Committee’s findings but it has been seriously redacted since I began posting the link at every opportunity (about 2000 times) over ten years and people began talking about the report – sometimes even on… Read more »

Regula
Guest
Regula

Merkel was involved in the coup against Yanukovich herself.

nomange
Guest
nomange

Very true. In this regard, and as a legal matter, Germany should be held responsible for violating the Helsinki Final Act, and later failing to honor its guaranty of the Yanukovitch government when the coup occurred only one day after Germany signed its guaranty, as well as its failure today to insist on Ukrainian compliance with the Minsk Accords, or prevent the Kiev government’s attacks against the populations of Donetsk and Luhansk. Germany is also heavily invested in Ukraine with large concessions in Ukrainian businesses, land and other natural resources held by German multinationals. Since WW2, the German government and… Read more »

Platon
Guest
Platon

How fortuitous that The Talmudo-Satanist Empire found a Hitler in-a- skirt to be frontsperson for the Fourth Reich – the latest in a thousand year string of attempts to kill all Russians and steal their resources.

The fact that their little scheme has failed has not occurred to anyone it seems. Like a mad Golem, Germany continues to self-destruct both socially (by importing terrorists) and economically, (by cutting themselves off from cheap reliable fossil fuels and resources).

I guess that is what comes of having a US occupying army on nominally German territory.

Cap
Guest
Cap

The Yanks will get their way as usual…the Germans as the rest of the world have no courage “balls” to oppose their true master the Yanks!

Olivia Kroth
Guest

No, they won’t get their way. The pipeline is nearly finished.The USA are not well-liked in Germany. Get over it.

Regula
Guest
Regula

I doubt that there will be any change: for one thing: a third of this €10b gas pipeline is already finished. Abandoning it now would mean € multi billion losses to the EU companies involved without any possibility to recover the loss and that at a time when the economy of the EU and of Germany in particular, is slowing. Second, Merkel knows all too well that the Kerch straight incident was provoked by Ukraine on behalf of the US and that Russia acted in its full right – any country would have acted the same way. Hence her refusal… Read more »

Phori
Guest
Phori

Is this as much about Angie’s closeness to the old Russian/Soviet system, being an East German who’s fluent in the Russian language, enabling a deeper one-on-one communication between her and her counterpart to the East? Is there some sort of perception that Angie is a spoiler in the old “Cold War” alliance, perhaps a fellow traveler of Vlad, both of whom emerged from the old ways to become their respective nations’ leaders? https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/angela-merkels-unlikely-journey-from-communist-east-germany-to-the-chancellorship-a6738271.html

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Diplomat slams US ambassador’s ‘unacceptable’ letters to German firms over Nord Stream 2

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell earlier sent letters to German companies warning them of possible US sanctions over their participation in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project

More:
http://tass.com/economy/1039921

Dr. William Fusfield
Guest

All I can think at once is that if the Europeans are so cowed by the American neocon/Zionists as to cave in on the NordStream2 project, then they deserve just what they get, or more precisely, what they won’t be getting, namely a reliable source of cheap natural gas!!

Vince Dhimos
Guest

Nord Stream is in its final stages of completion. There is no turning back, although the Trump administration is still kicking the dead horse:
http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/economics-and-finance/us-attempt-to-bully-germany-into-buying-american-lng-is-having-the-opposite-effect

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