Germany will shoot itself in the foot if the federal government rejects the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, according to Germany’s former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
Washington cannot order the entire nation which gas it should purchase, the ex-chancellor said in an interview with German regional daily the Rheinische Post.
“They [the US] certainly want to sell their own gas extracted by fracking technologies, which is unsustainable, expensive and rather worse compared to the piped natural gas in terms of quality,” Schroeder said.
According to the former politician, who currently chairs the boards of Russian state oil firm Rosneft and Nord Stream 2 AG, the debated pipeline project is an investment in the future that will provide security for the next generations since Germany is planning to totally halt nuclear power plants as well as coal burning.
He added that opinion on Nord Stream 2 among Germans radically differs from the beliefs that are often distributed by published news sources.According to Schroeder, “bashing Russia doesn’t express a major opinion.”
The pipeline is being constructed by a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom in close cooperation with several European energy majors.
The gas route, which runs under the Baltic Sea, is set to double the existing pipeline’s capacity of 55 billion cubic meters annually via two 1.2km lines. The pipeline goes to Germany through the maritime territories of Russia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
The project has been repeatedly blasted by the US, which wants to carve out a niche for sales of American liquified natural gas in the European energy market. While claiming that Nord Stream 2 would deepen Europe’s energy dependence on Russia, the White House has taken several major steps to derail construction of the pipeline, threatening the companies involved in it with sanctions.
The looming restrictions forced several Gazprom contractors to ditch Nord Stream 2. The first firm to withdraw the works was a Swiss-based offshore contractor Allseas. Over the past month, Norwegian certifier Det Norske Veritas–Germanischer Lloyd (DNV GL) and Dutch consulting group Ramboll announced plans to sever ties with the project. One of the largest insurers in Switzerland, the Zurich Insurance Group, also stopped cooperation with the Nord Stream 2 amid US sanctions pressure.
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