The stakes are high for Nordstream 2—Russia’s proposed $10 billion gas pipeline to Germany. If completed, the project will become more than a conduit for Kremlin energy exports. It will divide Europe, isolate Central Europe and Ukraine, and fortify Russia’s corporate and political allies across the continent. Recognizing Moscow’s use—and abuse—of information elsewhere in the West, it is little surprise that Nordstream 2 has become the subject of an effective multi-dimensional, multi-state disinformation campaign in its own right. This campaign may well now be poised to succeed, despite the damage Nordstream does to EU supply security, EU market liberalization principles and European solidarity. Probably the only compelling threat now to Nordstream 2 is the prospect of a legal challenge in the EU courts. Only, what are the facts of the case? Across Europe, Nordstream 2 (NS2) lobbyists have proposed seven interconnected arguments. At bottom, these assert that the pipeline is a commercial, market-driven, pro-liberalization project that enhances the EU’s supply security. These arguments are gaining traction in the debate over NS2’s future. However, when examined in any detail they fall apart. These arguments are: Claim 1: Nordstream 2 is purely a commercial project. To think of NS2 purely as a commercial project, one has to ignore the fact that the Russian state is a majority shareholder of Gazprom—which is Nordstream’s owner. Russia is at war with Ukraine, and indeed has illegally annexed part of its territory; construction of the pipeline will further undermine Ukraine. With Nordstream 2 bypassing Ukraine, that country will lose $2 billion in energy transit fees, close to 10 percent of its annual budget. More worrying [...]
In a few words
We represent the widely understood Central Europe energy sector (electricity generation, distribution and transmission, renewables, gas, oil, heat generation and distribution, chemical industries, etc.), universities and scientific institutions.