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State Dept. Vows To End Nord Stream 2 In Case Of Ukraine Invasion

The United States will make sure the Nord Stream 2 project does not move forward if Russia invades Ukraine, a spokesperson for the State Department told media.

"I want to be very clear: if Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward," Ned Price told NPR. "I'm not going to get into the specifics. We will work with Germany to ensure it does not move forward."

"Gas is not currently flowing through Nord Stream 2, and that's important because it means that Nord Stream 2 right now is not operational," Price also said. "It is leverage for us. It is leverage for Germany. It is leverage for the trans-Atlantic community because gas is not flowing."

However, gas may begin flowing before too long, after Gazprom said on Thursday that it had set up a subsidiary in Germany as required under German legislation for the pipeline to get the final green light from the government.

Named Gas for Europe GmbH, the subsidiary will be headquartered in the city of Schwerin and will own and operate the part of the pipeline that passes German territory as well as related infrastructure, Reuters reported.

Germany's energy and transport regulator said that the certification process for Nord Strem 2 will resume when the parent company transfers all the main assets and human resources to the new subsidiary.

According to Uniper, one of the investors in the Nord Stream 2 project, gas should be flowing by the start of the next heating season later this year.

Nord Stream 2 has become one of the most controversial energy projects in Europe not just for political reasons, with some European governments arguing that it would deepen the continent's dependence on Russian gas, but for environmental reasons as well, as the EU tries to move beyond fossil fuels.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 27 2022 said:
    This is a typical American hypocrisy. The United States’ failed efforts to stop Soviet oil and gas pipelines to Europe date back to the 1960s. Moreover, its opposition to Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has started from the very day of its inception.

    Nord Stream 2 was portrayed by the Americans as strengthening Russia’s grip on the energy security of Europe when the overwhelming majority of Europeans and the entire world (with the exception of Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States who are fiercely anti-Russian) have known all through that the motivation was and still is to sell US LNG to Europe at the expense of the cheaper Russian piped gas supplies.

    Now the United States is saying that it will make sure the Nord Stream 2 project does not move forward if Russia invades Ukraine. Does this mean that if Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine, then the United States will lift its opposition to the pipeline?

    I don’t think for one moment that the US will withdraw its opposition to Nord Stream 2. Yet, the pipeline has been completed despite all its futile efforts to prevent its construction and will fail miserably also in preventing its operation.

    The EU will eventually be forced to certify Nord Stream 2 despite the continued and ferocious US pressure on them if they want to avoid prolonging their current energy crisis and its recurrence year after year.

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

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