Which makes the controversial pipeline so important

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Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). © Kay Nietfeld/dpa

Baerbock’s visit to Ukraine and Russia is marked by the escalating conflict – and the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline. Why is the pipeline so explosive?

Berlin/Moscow – Foreign politicians from the Union and the Greens see the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 in the event of Russian aggression before the end. “I believe Nord Stream 2 must be stopped if Ukraine is attacked. Then it’s a bad investment, but an investment in Europe’s security,” said CDU foreign affairs expert Roderich Kiesewetter on Monday against the background of Foreign Ministers Annalena Baerbock’s (Greens) trip to Kiev and Moscow on Deutschlandfunk. The Green Foreign Minister has been taking a hard line towards Russia* since taking office – she is critical of the gas pipeline.

The Green foreign expert Omid Nouripour said in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”: “The moment there is another level of aggression by Russia, it is very, very clear that this pipeline will not come.” But what about the Baltic Sea pipeline so explosive in view of the Ukraine conflict?

The fight for Nord Stream 2 – what makes the pipeline so important in the Ukraine-Russia conflict

The completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is one of the biggest points of contention* between Germany and its partner countries. Nord Stream 2 is to bring gas from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine. The line has been completed but is not yet operational. Many of Germany’s allies fear that this will increase dependence on Russian gas. Chancellor Olaf Scholz*, on the other hand, emphasized that the pending decision on commissioning by the Federal Network Agency was apolitical. It is a private sector project.

Ex-SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel now contradicted this. To the daily mirror he said: “You only get your own strength in negotiations if you seriously counter the Russian threat of a military invasion of Ukraine”. He called for the chancellor to change course in Russia policy.

Ukraine, meanwhile, has demanded tougher sanctions from Germany and Europe over Russia’s behavior in the conflict, including a halt to the gas pipeline. The state-owned Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz has again issued a warning regarding Nord Stream 2. For Ukraine, it is a question of national security, said Naftogaz boss Yuriy Vitrenko Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

Ukraine: Nord Stream 2 as a sanctions instrument – ​​a course of dialogue and toughness

Kiesewetter warned against excluding possible sanctions against Russia from the outset. This weakens the negotiating position of the Europeans. The designated CDU leader Friedrich Merz had previously spoken out against a possible exclusion of Russia from the international payment transactions of the Swift system.

With a view to the risk of an escalation on the Ukrainian border, the CDU politician said weeks ago he believed that only a threatening backdrop was being set up here. But now he sees the situation as explosive. If the West shows weakness, Russia may take the next step, such as completely separating Crimea or eastern Ukraine. “We have to reckon with that,” said Kiesewetter.

Like his CDU colleague, Nouripour underlined the course of dialogue and toughness by the foreign minister. Baerbock* will make it clear that the thread of dialogue should not be broken and that efforts should also be made to balance interests, said Nouripour. At the same time, it must be clear that aggression and further violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity will come at a high price. Nouripour also made it clear that Europe would not be divided. “We will not be able to make deals with Russia at the expense of third parties.” (dpa/aka) *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.


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