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German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel Supports New German-Russian Gas Pipeline

Gabriel said Germany could greatly benefit from a new pipline with Russia, but that the project had to comply with EU laws

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider


Originally Appeared at Contra Magazine. Translated from the German by Werner Schrimpf


Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Vice Chancelor and Minister for Economic Affairs, says that the extension of the gas pipeline North Stream 2 from Russia to Germany is in the interest of Germany and other EU member states. He stated that Russia should also maintain the current transit pipeline via Ukraine.

Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democratic Party – SPD) advocates the planned gas pipeline „North Stream 2“. “Germany will benefit from North Stream 2 and I agree with Chancellor Merkel in this matter,” Mr. Gabriel declared in an interview with the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. The project will have a positive economic impact on France and other EU-member states as well.

But there are some political preconditions which Russia should obey. “The most important precondition is that the transition pipeline across the Ukraine has to be maintained to some extent, the supply security for Eastern Europe has to be guaranteed, and the project has to comply with European and German regulations,” Mr. Gabriel explained. After his first talks with Russian President Putin he got the impression that “…the Russian partners are accepting these conditions and are seeking constructive solutions. The same approach would be advisable for the EU. The EU should avoid any ideologically-driven mock battles.”

Last Friday various political leaders from southern and eastern European states argued against North Stream 2 during an EU summit in Brussels. Matteo Renzi was especially critical of German chancellor Angela Merkel for operating under a double standard on this issue. Donald Tusk and some foreign politicians from German party CDU (Christian Democrats) doubted the planned project. “We want to reduce dependence on Russia in energy supplies and “North Stream 2” does not support this objective. It would go against European security policies” stated Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Norbert Röttgen.


(Translator’s note and background information: Mr. Norbert Röttgen (CDU) plays a leading role in U.S. flagship NGO in Germany “Atlantikbrücke” and is well known for his vigorous anti-Russian stance as well as his vivid support for even lengthier and heavier sanctions against Russia).

Since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, the EU has recognized that the energy policy is an integral part of European’s security policy. Foreign politician Mr. Christoph Bergner (CDU) said that he is rejecting Mr. Gabriel’s opinion because Germany should not give neighboring states like Poland cause for worry.

“The solidarity within EU is more important than the relationship with Russia” Mr. Bergner stated. Mr. Bernd Fabritius (CSU), another foreign policy maker and head of Foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation, mentioned that Germany has to take into account Polish concerns about North Stream 2.  “Russia has not yet regained its reputation as reliable partner and therefore I would strongly recommend promoting independence in European energy supplies,” lectured Mr. Fabritius.


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