No unity regarding Nord Stream 2 in Europe as Austria asks to launch pipeline “quickly,” contradicting Germany

No unity regarding Nord Stream 2 in Europe as Austria asks to launch pipeline “quickly,” contradicting Germany

Die Grünen-Vorsitzende Annalena Baerbock soll ihre Partei als Kanzlerkandidatin in die Bundestagswahl führen. Der Bundesvorstand der Grünen nominierte sie am Montag für den Spitzenposten. Der Bundesvorstand trifft die Vorentscheidung, die dann noch von einem Parteitag bestätigt werden muss, der vom 11. bis 13. Juni stattfindet. 

International

Editor’s Note

The Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg asked to launch the Nord Stream 2 pipeline quickly while Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said the pipeline should not be used as leverage against Russia. This was opposed by German Foreign Minister Baerbock, who criticizes the pipeline in its current form. Meanwhile, gas prices in Europe surged to record levels since October on the backdrop of the EU’s 50% dependence on Russian gas imports.

The Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has asked the Council of European Foreign Ministers on 13 December to launch the Nord Stream 2 pipeline quickly. The project is “finished, now we should use it,” he said. On 14 December, In his interview for the German newspaper Die Welt, he said that Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a “European project” and should not be used to pressure Moscow. According to Nehammer “the commissioning of Nord Stream 2 should not be linked to Russia’s behavior in Ukraine,” because this type of policy only harms the European Union.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock from the Greens believes the opposite, saying she sees no conditions for the immediate certification of Nord Stream 2. On 12 December, Baerbock noted that Germany’s new coalition agreement signed enshrines the provision that European energy legislation applies to all energy projects, including Nord Stream 2.

And this means that in its current form, this pipeline cannot be approved — because it does not meet the requirements of the European energy legislation, and security issues in any case remain unresolved,” she said, adding that Germany would be prepared to halt the pipeline, “in the event of further escalation.

At the same time, Europen gas prices surged to $1,425 per 1,000 cubic meters or EUR 122.24 per MWh, the record price since October. On 16 November 2021 Germany suspended its approval process for Nord Stream 2. As Russia continues its policy of cutting gas transition through Ukraine, the EU is still faced with a gas deficit, given that it allowed importing 50% of gas from Russia in the last two years despite its own regulations. Currently, Putin uses artificial limits on gas and coal imports both to Ukraine and Europe to create the crisis and achieve his foreign policy goals.

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Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had his first phone call with Germany’s newly appointed Federal Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock on 13 December 2021. Two Ministers discussed a peaceful settlement in eastern Ukraine and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. In particular, “Dmytro Kuleba thanked his German counterpart for her clear position on Nord Stream 2. The ministers agreed that European energy legislation should apply to the project,according to Ukraine’s MFA press service.

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