America punishes Nord Stream 2
On January 18, the United States imposed sanctions on the “Fortuna” pipe-laying vessel related to the completion of the project “Northern Stream-2” (Nord Stream 2) and the ship’s owner was KBT-Rus company.
The US Treasury Department’s list of sanctions related to measures against Russia, Yemen, and Venezuela also includes 06 ships, 14 companies from Italy, Switzerland, the United States, Venezuela, Malta, the UK, and 3 Swiss individuals. Switzerland, Italy and Venezuela.
So far, 05 European subjects participating in the project had to withdraw due to US sanctions, including: Bilfinger SE – German company undertook the package to develop, supply and operate the system. process control on the pipeline; Switzerland Zurich Insurance Group; DNV GL Norwegian quality standard certification company; Swiss company “Allseas” is in charge of the pipeline and Danish consulting firm Rambøll.
In December of last year, operator Nord Stream AG announced, there are about 148 km of pipeline left to be placed: 120 km in Danish waters, and about 28 km in German waters.
But at present, the two ships undertaking to install the undersea pipeline (both from Russia) cannot continue to carry out the final workload, because the ship that installs the pipeline “Fortuna” of Russia is punished by the US. and the “Cherskiy Institute” (Akademik Cherskiy) ship is not licensed.
European Parliament issued a resolution demanding the termination of Nord Stream 2
In addition to US sanctions, Nord Stream 2 also faced opposition from European parliamentarians, but for reasons completely different from the US.
On January 21, in the context of opposition activist Alexei Navalny arrested upon returning to Russia, the European Parliament (Europarl or EP) passed a resolution requiring the European Union and Russia to stop construction. natural gas pipeline project “Northern flow-2”.
However, European officials said that the EP’s resolution on sanctions against Russian officials and the termination of construction of the “North-2 Flow” gas pipeline would not affect progress. of the project from the legal point of view, as this is a political statement and is not a binding document of EU member states.
|The EP supports the US to block Nord Stream 2, but the EU has benefited greatly from the Northern Flow|
Accordingly, the EP has no authority to order the termination of the project, if it is to do so, the European Union needs to issue a binding law or document against the EU authorities and other Member States.
Meanwhile, recently, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the “North-2 Flow” is a private project and the European Union cannot stop it. .
“Record Northern flow”, Nord Stream 2 will be protected
In addition, the German government – a leader of Europe – also firmly defended the project. On January 21, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the Berlin government did not approve sanctions outside the United States, and that Berlin’s stance on the issue of “Northern Flow-2” remained unchanged.
The German Prime Minister stressed that Nord Stream 2 should not be politicized, this is an economic project and it should be completed.
The statement by the head of the German cabinet was made in the context of statistics showing that gas exports via the Northern Flow pipeline (previous project of Northern Flow 2) reached a record high , shows how effective the previous project was.
According to the report of the operator of the “Northern Flow” pipeline Nord Stream AG, gas exports last year via the Northern Flow exceeded the design capacity, reaching 59.2 billion meters. block, the highest level since the operation began.
“In 2020, 59.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas will be delivered to European consumers via the Northern Flow gas pipeline. Gas pipeline utilization in 2020 is higher. years ago, therefore, the annual gas transport volume reached the highest level in history since the inception of operations “- the statement stated.
Thus, the amount of gas pumped through the pipeline once again exceeds the design capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas (in 2019, Gazprom exported 58.5 billion cubic meters via the Northern Flow). In total, by the end of last year, the total volume of gas transportation since the first start of the gas pipeline chain in 2011 amounted to about 382 billion cubic meters.
With a clear view of the huge economic and energy security benefits from the first project, “Northern Flow”, it is easy to understand why the governments of the EU countries are committed to protecting the next project. is “Northern Flow 2”, despite US sanctions.