The Nord Stream 2 is a 1,200-km pipeline that extends, through the Baltic Sea, from Ust-Luga in Russia to Greifswald in Germany. This pipeline will be carrying 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually. In the year 2015, the decision to build this pipeline was taken.

Overview:

  • The Nord Stream 1 pipeline has already been completed, and along with the Nord Stream 2.
  • Germany will be supplied with 110 billion cubic meters of gas a year.
  • The decision to build the Nord Stream 2 was taken up by Gazprom, the Russian energy major, and five other firms in Europe.
  • The Nord Stream 2 is valued at around USD 11 billion.
  • The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will run parallelly with the Nord Stream 1.
  • The pipeline is nearly 98 percent constructed and runs through European Union countries Germany and Denmark.

Significance of Nord Stream 2

  • Germany depends on other countries for the import of Gas and Oil. This pipeline will help stabilize the situation as Germany is more inclined towards a stable manufacturing economy and plans to gradually move towards renewable sources of energy.
  • Through this pipeline, Europe will be receiving a sustainable supply of gas, while, Russia will get direct access to the European market.
  • Nord Stream 2’s proposed route uses the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and territorial waters of Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. This will help the national governments of these countries through investments and job creation.
  • This pipeline will provide stability on the energy trade as there will be an increase in Russia’s dependence on Europe and vice-versa. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is also expected to cut gas costs.

Controversies regarding Nord Stream 2

  • The United States has been critical of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. It believes that this pipeline will increase Europe’s reliance on Russia for natural gas, thereby emboldening Russian President Vladimir Putin. Currently, the EU members rely on Russia for 40% of their requirements for natural gas.
  • This project is also opposed in Eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine whose relationship with Russia has deteriorated with a war taking place. A pipeline already exists that connects Europe and Russia via Ukraine. Hence, Ukraine believes that once Nord 2 is completed they will completely be bypassed and the transit fee payment of USD 3 billion will be denied to them.
  • The Donald Trump government had signed a law imposing sanctions against any EU company working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The Biden government, though critical of the pipeline, had considered waving the sanctions to increase its diplomatic ties with Germany, but with the impending invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the sanctions will be remaining.

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