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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Could Sink Nord Stream 2

  • Germany said on Tuesday that it could nix the Nord Stream 2 pipeline should Russia invade Ukraine
  • The move would be as much as Germany's expense at it would be Russia's
Bundestag

Germany said on Tuesday that it could nix the Nord Stream 2 pipeline should Russia invade Ukraine, Reuters has reported.

Fears that Russia’s troop movement in the area could spark a war have intensified in recent days. But an important bargaining chip remains in the hands of Germany—if it is willing to use it.

That bargaining chip is Nord Stream 2—the controversial natural gas pipeline project that could alleviate a fair chunk of Europe’s energy woes. And Europe is looking pretty desperate in that regard.

Nevertheless, Germany has said that it could halt the project—a move that would be as much at Germany’s expense as it would be Russia’s.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz indicated on Tuesday that if Russia does attack Ukraine, Germany’s response could include stopping the pipeline, adding that it was “clear that there will be a high price to pay and that everything will have to be discussed should there be a military intervention in Ukraine.”

Russia contends that Nord Stream 2 will carry essential natural gas to Europe, and as such, is a lifeline to Europe’s security.

 At the end of December, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the pipeline was loaded with gas and ready to deliver. But Germany pushed back its decision on the pipeline to July 2022, citing regulatory hurdles that Nord Stream 2 AG had yet to make—namely, that the operator of the pipeline must be incorporated in Germany.

While Germany says it is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep Russia from invading Ukraine, the U.S. Senate voted this week against levying sanctions on Nord Stream 2, despite some senators’ insistence that Russia is using the pipeline and natural gas flows—or lack thereof—as blackmail.

High natural gas prices continue to be a major headache for Europe, with end-users floundering under the high prices and several power providers going under. 

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 18 2022 said:
    If Germany tries to sink Nord Stream 2 in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, then hundreds of German companies which were involved in the construction of the gas pipeline will be sunk too. Moreover, Germany which depends for 65% of its oil and gas needs on imports mostly from Russia will be the loser along the EU countries.

    So instead of making threats it can’t sustain against Russia based on alleged Russian plans to invade Ukraine, it should work diligently to remove the cause of the crisis by persuading the EU, NATO and the United States to sign a binding treaty that excludes Ukraine from becoming a member of NATO.

    What would be Germany's, the EU’s and the United States’ reactions if Russia installed nuclear missiles in Venezuela or Cuba and also targeted major European infrastructure and cities with its nuclear missiles?

    Realpolitik not empty threats will win the day.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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