Washington and Berlin have reached an agreement on the construction of the Russian gas pipeline “North Stream 2”, which ended the long-standing dispute between the two allies over this issue, but the levers of pressure on Russia still remain, Russian experts warn.
US President Joe Biden actually admitted that the construction of that gas pipeline, which goes from the coast of Russia across the Baltic Sea to Germany, is impossible to stop because it is 99 percent completed, Olivera Ikodinović writes for Sputnik.
Victory for European consumers
However, Russian political scientist Alexander Shpunt believes that this should not be understood as the capitulation of Washington, and at the same time adds that the winners of that long-standing dispute are actually European consumers who will receive cheaper gas and Russian-European relations.
– The significance of this agreement is in fact very great, because this is practically the first episode in the long-term history of Russia’s relations with America, when it was officially recognized at the presidential level that sanctions did not work, that they did not achieve their goal. However, I am not one of those experts who see this as capitulation and who believe that truth and reason have finally triumphed. I find that everything is actually much more modest. The United States does not want to lose Germany, a key ally in Europe, and that is why, in many aspects, this is Germany’s victory in this confrontation – says Špunt for Sputnik.
The loudest opponents of “North Stream 2” are the United States, which wants to push Russia out of the European market and push its liquefied natural gas into Europe, and Ukraine, which could therefore lose important revenues from gas transit. Those countries, as well as Poland and some others, claim that Europe is too energy dependent on Russia and that the pipeline threatens European energy security and stability, which is why the Americans have been trying for years to block Nord Stream 2 with sanctions and various pressures. $ 11 billion.
On the other hand, Moscow has confirmed its status as a reliable partner in the field of energy supply, and Russia and Germany have repeatedly emphasized that it is an economic project that will provide cheaper gas to Europe, and above all to Germany.
Pressure on Russia will continue
The expert points out that the decision on the completion of “North Stream 2” does not mean that a point has been put on this issue. The package of American-German agreements brings possible new pressures on Russia. Germany has pledged to take “effective measures,” including sanctions against Russia, if “Moscow uses energy as a geopolitical weapon or commits further aggressive actions against Ukraine.”
As for concessions to Ukraine, Germany has agreed to support Ukraine’s energy security with the aim of protecting it from potential interruptions in gas supplies from Russia.
– I think we can expect a new wave of pressure on Russia in 2024, when the existing agreement on gas deliveries through Ukraine expires. More precisely, it can be expected even earlier, before its expiration. So, sanctions exist and new ones are possible. As it is known, Germany has promised to impose sanctions on Russia if Moscow, from Washington’s point of view, uses gas transit as a means of putting pressure on Ukraine – says Špunt.
When completed, Nord Stream 2 will stretch 1,230 kilometers from Russia to Germany, making it one of the longest gas pipelines in the world.
Source: Vesti online by www.vesti-online.com.
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