The influential European publication Politico has published an article that lists six ways in which Germany can almost painlessly abandon the Nord Stream 2 project.
Analyst Pavel Vishnevsky in connection with this publication recalls that, for example, Lithuania has long and consistently refused to import Russian gas, replacing it entirely with LNG, while neighboring Latvia and Estonia are still dependent on Gazprom. At the same time, the gas price in Lithuania is steadily falling, which prompted Poland, Bulgaria and Turkey to follow its example, so that the Turkish Stream is now empty. That is why, there is no point in Germany insisting on the completion of the construction of Nord Stream 2. Here are these six ways for Germany:
1. Withdraw existing pipeline permits for political reasons
2. Wait until environmentalists can ban the project through the courts
According to new data, the leak of methane from the pipeline, contributing to global warming, is significantly higher than previously thought.
3. Issuance of a national restriction on imports of Russian gas
The German foreign trade law on payments does indeed allow restrictions on foreign trade "to guarantee the fundamental security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany or to prevent a violation of the principle of peaceful coexistence of peoples" - and, referring to the case of Navalny, such restrictions can indeed be introduced.
4. Let the US sanctions stifle the project
That is, simply stop obstructing US sanctions against the pipe.
5. Introduce sanctions against the project at the EU level
This is the safest active option, as it provides Germany with an opportunity not to be left alone against the likely consequences of a project shutdown.
6. Prohibit the pipeline at the final stage of acceptance of compliance with EU regulations
Even if no further action is taken by Germany or the EU, the pipeline still faces many challenges to obtain a license to operate.
Vishnevsky believes that it is not so important which option Germany chooses, because even if the pipeline is put into operation like the Turkish Stream, it is doomed to stand empty very soon after opening. And that's why:
1. The more Russia receives foreign exchange and funds from outside, the more aggressive it becomes in pursuing a new imperial policy in the western direction. Ultimately, this threatens European stability and directly damages the free world.
2. The more a country becomes energy dependent on Russia, the less independent it can pursue. The neighbors of Russia were the first to understand this, but in the end it reaches everyone.
Considering these two factors, it is only a matter of time how quickly the reduction of energy supplies to Europe from Russia will go. Some events, such as the poisoning of Navalny, can intensify this process and make a qualitative leap in restrictions...
Let us recall that the EU recently adopted a program for the transition to new energy until 2050. In accordance with it, Europe must move away from fossil fuels in favor of renewable sources. And this is not a joke or a way of blackmailing Russia, but a well-considered strategy.