- Sergei Lavrov held a press conference.
- He stated completion of the Nord Stream 2 project should be honored by Germany.
- US voiced strong opposition to the completion of the Nord Stream 2.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke at a press conference, which was held on Thursday. The discussion revolved around the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a new export gas pipeline running from Russia to Europe across the Baltic Sea, a point of US opposition, and a matter of honor for Germany.
The decision to build Nord Steam 2 was based on the successful experience in building and operating the Nord Stream gas pipeline. The new pipeline, similar to the one in operation, will establish a direct link between Gazprom and the European consumers. It will also ensure a highly reliable supply of Russian gas to Europe. Lavrov said:
“Every day the United States publicly tries to humiliate the European Union, especially Germany, as the United States, through its official representatives, demands that Germany realize its happiness and the need to strengthen its energy security, by which the United States means abandoning Nord stream 2 and switching to significantly more expensive American liquefied natural gas. I believe, this is my personal opinion, this issue is now a matter of honor for Germany, honor in all senses, in all its dimensions.”
Moreover, this month, German newspaper Die Zeit reported that Berlin is ready to invest up to €1 billion in the construction of two terminals in the country to receive American LNG in exchange for waiving sanctions against Nord Stream 2 from Washington.
The report cited a letter from the Vice-Chancellor, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, sent to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Furthermore, this summer, the US Senate approved a version of the defense budget, which commences on October 1st, for the next fiscal year. It includes additional sanctions against Nord stream 2.
Germany is at a crossroads with the Nord Stream 2 project due to the recent situation with the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, and possible new sanctions against Russia.
However, Germany does not have jurisdiction to open a criminal case pertaining to the Navalny poisoning, as it happened out of country, in Tomsk, Russia.
Overall, Germany would suffer losses, if the Nord Stream 2 is not completed. There is a lot of funding that is poured into the project, and it will also cause a lot of issues for Germany.
It will also further detoriate relations between Germany and Russia. The two nations have a lot of symbiotic projects.
However, despite some anti-lockdown protests this summer against her government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Merkel and her center-right Christian Democratic Union enjoy a double-digit lead in the opinion polls in the event of early elections.
In any case, if the Nord Stream 2 project is not completed, it could lead to political uncertainty, combined with the Coronavirus pandemic. No nation can afford political instability compounded with the economic challenges.