Dr. Thomas O’Donnell, international academic, expert analyst and writer working on energy and international affairs, particularly the global oil and gas systems, explains in his interview to Live EuroNews Morning Show why Nord Stream 2 pipeline is dead.
According to him, the Russian-German project opposed by the European Union is actually dead due to US sanctions (CAATSA, PEESA, PEESCA). The Russian construction is only in 2.6 Km of shallow German waters, where sanctions do not apply. However, in Danish and other German waters no credible insurance or certification firm, or German companies will violate US harsh sanctions. Joe Biden will also support sanctions against Nord Stream 2. The claims NS2 can still be built are Russian-backed disinformation.
The real strategic objective of Putin in building Nord Stream 2 is so that Gazprom does not have to send Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine and Belarus, countries that are in rebellion against Russian dominance.
Putin’s present dependence on these Soviet-era pipelines laying through the territory of Ukraine and Belarus nowadays limits his ability to subvert and militarily intervene in these states to keep them in Moscow’s orbit. He wants to have in his pocket Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream so as to be able to abandon the old Soviet-era pipeline systems, which Gazprom now is constrained to use to market its gas throughout Europe.
The EU has tried to diminish Russian dependence by both insisting Ukraine adopts EU law for its pipelines, limiting the ability of Kremlin to use this gas business in Ukraine to engage in corrupt deals with oligarchs and accomplish “elite capture” so as to dominate Ukraine. The EU also attempts to diversify its sources of natural gas away from such heavy Russian dependence, for example by importing LNG from the USA, but also from Qatar, Australia and other states.
Forcing Moscow to keep sending its gas sold in Europe via the existing pipelines in Ukraine and Belarus versus allowing him to build new pipelines that avoid Russian gas transiting these countries are two fundamentally opposed strategic visions for European gas security. The USA (and Brussels) supports the former, and Germany the latter.