Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday that Gazprom would launch Nord Stream 2 by the end of 2020 as the country moves forward to gain control of global gas markets.
Despite the newly announced U.S. sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project, Russia says it will build and launch next year the natural gas pipeline that has divided Europe for half a decade.
These projects will complete Putin’s plan to have Moscow not only continue holding a large share of gas supplies to Europe, but branch out Russian gas exports to the fastest growing gas import market, China, and seize a growing share of the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market.
Nord Stream 2 is the latest project in Putin’s plan for energy and geopolitical dominance in the world. Russia already holds a third of Europe’s gas imports. Nord Stream 2, when completed—because Russia believes it will be completed next year despite the sanctions—is set to further solidify Moscow’s reach into the north European market bypassing Ukraine.
Before Nord Stream 2, Russia will have launched TurkStream, through which Russia’s gas giant Gazprom will carry pipeline gas to Turkey and south and southeastern Europe—a region already heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies. Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are set to officially launch the TurkStream gas pipeline on January 8.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.