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Brussels Alarmed as Germany and Russia “Conspire to Dodge EU Energy Rules”

Poland doesn’t like the Nord Stream 2 project one bit and neither does Brussels

 

This post first appeared on Russia Insider


Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has long been a thorn in the side of the United States and some European countries.

In order to free Europe from Gazprom’s “stranglehold,” Washington and Brussels have been promoting the Southern Gas Corridor and sabotaging new Russian projects.

<figcaption>Putin and Gabriel consolidate their joint sovereignty vis avis the EU</figcaption>
Putin and Gabriel consolidate their joint sovereignty vis avis the EU

The South Stream saga demonstrated that the U.S. and the European Commission (EC) will go to great lengths to lessen Russia’s influence over European energy markets, even if that means putting Europe’s energy security at risk.

Last Wednesday, EU Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic pointed out that EU member states lacked sufficient alternatives to Russian gas supplies and called for “an urgent political push” for closer cooperation in the energy sphere.  

Brussels’ efforts to construct an “Energy Union” have been hampered by differing interests of the various member states. For example, Poland wants to continue investing in coal, while Germany and several European companies plan to expand the Nord Stream pipeline to bring more Russian gas to Europe.

This has drawn harsh criticism from Poland and some other countries. After lamenting that the planned expansion of Nord Stream hurts EU unity, Poland recently called on Brussels to ban the project.

Sefcovic stressed during his state of the energy union address on Wednesday that the European Commission will scrutinize whether the Nord Stream plan complies with EU rules.

Berlin and Moscow had already seen it coming. That is why they “are effectively conspiring to dodge the EU's energy rules.”

Last month, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria and Ukraine as well as the Nord Stream 2 project.

Gabriel stressed the importance of the Nord Stream expansion and assured Putin that the German government will do its best to limit the possibility of “external meddling” and “political interference” in the project:

“Mr Miller [Deputy Chairman of Gazprom] and Mr Matthias Warnig [CEO of Nord Stream] will continue to pursue Nord Stream 2 project. This is in our interests; but it is not just in Germany’s interests – it is a very interesting project even beyond Germany’s borders.

If we can ensure that it remains in German hands, opportunities for external meddling will be limited, and we are on track to do so.

To limit political meddling - which is not just a formality – we need to settle the issue of Ukraine’s role as a transit nation after 2019. given that its gas transportation system is not in very good condition, not to mention the Ukraine’s  financial and political role.

I believe we can handle this if  German agencies maintain authority over these issues,l limiting the possibility of political interference in this project.”

Brussels seems to have other ideas.

 


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