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Sanctions, Security and the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Sanctions, Security and the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, construction of which is intended to transport 55 billion cubic metres of Russian gas to Germany per year under the Baltic Sea, is a ragbag of options and promises.  The fruit of a deal between Berlin and Moscow, it has troubled those within Russia, Germany, Europe and the United States, though for different reasons.

On the subject of environment, the ledger of negatives against the project are weighty.  Environmental organisations fear the ecological threat the pipeline poses to the Baltic Sea.  The Russian office of Greenpeace has claimed that Nord Stream 2 AG, owned by Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom, is an ecological misfit. It threatens the Kurgalsky nature reserve even as it promises transplanting various unique plant species affected by the gas pipeline. 

According to findings from the V. L. Komarov Botanical Institute, the picture is even uglier than a breach of promise: the plant varieties in question, listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and the Red Book of the Leningrad region, were actually destroyed.

Bird life has also been affected, with confirmation that white-tailed eagles, which are also Red-listed, have fled their nesting sites in the reserve.  Nord Stream 2’s response has been one of comparing apples and bananas, an analytical approach doomed to inaccuracy.  

“Eagles are known for their resilience. Documentary evidence from the first Nord Stream project shows us that construction activities did not affect eagles’ behavioural patterns in Germany.”

The United States is less concerned with matters green.  Nord Stream 2 poses a security threat. 

Trump’s former secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, saw it as “undermining Europe’s overall energy security and stability.”

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