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 [...]
Diversifying the gas supplies to Central and Eastern Europe, not only by its routes, but by the sources of supply will allow the creation of a real gas market, with free competition between suppliers and freedom of choice for customers. In the light of this, the decision of the European Commission allowing Gazprom increased access to the capacity of the OPAL pipeline, as well the pursue of the Nord Stream 2 project are contrary to the Energy Union principles and detrimental to the region. These are the key messages discussed during the first edition of Central European Day of Energy, in Brussels. All European projects, according to the Energy Union rules, should increase energy security, solidarity and trust. They also have to comply with the European common rules concerning third party access and competition policy, hence without posing a threat of disruption on existing routes. The gas infrastructure in CEE is still mainly East-West oriented. Therefore, one of the main priorities for the region is the implementation of the North-South gas corridor, a key enabler for breaking the Central Europe’s dependence upon Russian gas. The North–South Corridor comprises a set of interrelated energy infrastructure projects, which would connect Central European markets, both with each other, and with the Western part of the continent. This will be the backbone of Central Europe’s energy infrastructure and will further enhance the region’s energy security. The European Commission’s Vice-President in charge of Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, reminded that “2016 will be remembered as a highly turbulent year, a turning point between the old and the new energy systems. With the just released “Clean [...]
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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.