Unfinished Russian gas pipeline to Europe, “Nord stream-2” (SP-2) fell out of the President of the United States Donald trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. During a recent telephone conversation between the two leaders, between them there was a “hot controversy” about the Russian pipeline. This publication reports Politico, citing a senior U.S. official. The cause and the essence of the dispute did not specify the source, but it is clear and so. America strongly opposes the advent of this gas route first, so as not to deprive transit of the money from their Ukrainian friends, and secondly, to facilitate the export to Europe of its own liquefied natural gas. Germany have two hands, because SP-2 not only solves all its own problems of supply, but also receives lucrative European hub. As the political tug of rope between the United States and Germany will affect the fate of the Russian pipe, “MK” asked the experts.
Recall, “Nord stream-2” —involves the construction of two pipelines. Their total capacity will be 55 billion cubic meters per year. The pipeline runs from the Russian coast via the Baltic sea to Germany. Run the construction company 2 Nord Stream AG, which was established by “Gazprom”.
In December 2019 construction has stalled due to sanctions imposed by the United States. They included the blocking of U.S. assets, ban on transactions with those entered in the sanctions list, as well as a ban on entry into the United States. Almost immediately on its withdrawal, said the Swiss company Allseas, which withdrew its vessel from the construction area, which work was suspended.
Germany has criticized the imposition of sanctions and called it US meddling in the internal Affairs of the country. In early may, the German government declared its support for the construction project of JV-2 and hope that it will be fully realized.
But just recently, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said that Washington discussed new sanctions against SP-2, and approve of them both Republicans and Democrats. He also spoke about monitoring the Russian vessels-pipe layers “Akademik Chersky” and “fortune”, who plan to finish the pipeline. In the United States believe that will if not prevent the completion of the pipeline, then at least to prevent its commissioning. The management of “Gazprom” predicted to complete the project by the end of 2020. However, these promises were made before the pandemic coronavirus.
What can be the new us sanctions, unknown. Most likely, there will be restrictions against firms which will serve the pipeline. It is also possible that the United States will take sanctions against buyers of Russian gas. In response, the operator SP-2 — 2, Nord Stream AG made a statement that the threat of sanctions is imminentll of illegal discrimination.
What is the future of Russian gas pipeline SP-2 in the light of an ardent international political disputes about it? The question we addressed to experts of the energy market.
Mikhail KRUTIKHIN, partner of RusEnergy:
“the Prospect of the completion of the remaining sections of the SP-2 is very vague for many reasons. First of all, the technological capabilities of laying vessel “Akademik Chersky”, made a nearly three-month sea voyage from the far East Nakhodka to the Baltic sea can be questioned. In principle, it is considered the only domestic ship, able to build underwater site SP-2, but the real evidence of modernization does not exist. But the main threat is a new sanctions measures that may bring our country, Washington. After the start of “Academician Chersky” over the last phase of the SP-2, this vessel may be arrested. Moreover, the owner of the pipe, which in the end is the Russian gas concern, can be arrested not only Bank accounts, and other assets — that is, other sea side, loitering around the world. Not only Russian companies involved in the construction of the SP-2, but their staff will not be able to get a visa and be denied the opportunity to raise loans from American financial institutions.”
Igor YUSHKOV, a leading analyst of the national energy security Foundation:
“Us sanctions can now be aimed at potential buyers of Russian gas. That is, they try to make meaningless the completion of the SP-2 to lock up Russia on the Ukrainian transit. And Ukraine they control and, accordingly, at some point, you will be there to block the transit of Russian gas. Then in Europe there is a shortage of fuel, prices will rise, and you will be profitable to sell us LNG. Meanwhile, now finishes laying the last section of the SP-2. At the moment the ships of the pipelaying work in the waters of Denmark, where now lay two pipelines. All work must be done before the new year. Therefore, the participating companies of American sanctions, calculated for 2021, will not be affected. Apparently, threatening them Washington therefore trying one last time to scare European company, so they refused to implement the project. However, this tactic will not be successful. The only thing that can affect the American side, these are the rules of use of the pipeline. In particular, the Americans will certainly put pressure on Germany to Berlin does not allow the download of SP-2 to full power”.