Sat, 22 Jan 2022

US opposition to the controversial natural gas pipeline is purely selfish, claims local politician

The US has derailed the controversial natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 simply because of its own economic interests, and Germany must realize that it is dependent on Russian gas, the Prime Minister of Saxony said on Monday.

Speaking to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Michael Kretschmer called criticism of the pipeline "wrong." Kretschmer, who has led the German state since 2017, also serves on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and is a member of the German-Russian Friendship Group.

Nord Stream 2 was completed in September and now connects Russia to Germany without passing through any third country. This means that, once it starts operation, gas transit will become less reliant on third parties, thereby lowering the commodity's price. It is yet to receive certification, however, leaving the pipeline dormant.

"What has preoccupied us all most in recent months is the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which has been torpedoed by the Americans for reasons of energy policy self-interest and is now also being criticized by individual parties in Germany," Kretschmer said, noting that some senior members of the newly formed federal government, including from the Green Party, are opposed to its certification.

Washington has repeatedly sanctioned the pipeline, claiming that it threatens Europe's "energy security." Some have claimed the US is motivated by its own desire to sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the continent and is simply an economic calculation.

"I believe this is wrong. On the one hand, you have to see America's economic interests and, on the other, that we are dependent on Russian gas," Kretschmer continued.

Approval of the pipeline, which could have come this month, was suspended in mid-November after the German Federal Network Agency, the Bundesnetzagentur, insisted that Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator, create a German subsidiary. The German Energy Ministry described the suspension as a regulatory issue and an interim step, and the process will resume when the firm moves its base.


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