Former Warsaw Pact EU members don’t trust Germany and Moscow’s pipeline plan

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President Putin with German Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany Sigmar Gabriel.

Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has long been a thorn in the side of the United States and some European countries.

In order to free Europe from Gazprom’s “stranglehold,” Washington and Brussels have been promoting the Southern Gas Corridor and sabotaging new Russian projects.

The South Stream saga demonstrated that the U.S. and the European Commission (EC) will go to great lengths to lessen Russia’s influence over European energy markets, even if that means putting Europe’s energy security at risk. (Russian Insider link below)

From the FT.

Nine countries, led by Poland and Slovakia, are petitioning to block the pipeline in a campaign animated by their belief that the EU’s most powerful member state has put its own economic needs ahead of their energy security.

In a letter to Donald Tusk, the European Council president, seen by the Financial Times, they demand that the proposed pipeline between Russia and Germany be put on the agenda of next month’s summit of EU leaders, in an attempt to pressure Brussels to withhold its approval.

Then Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski compared Nordstream I to the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that saw Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union divide Poland between them.

Germany is keen for the EU to have as little influence as possible over the pipeline, which is slated to begin transmission in 2019, when a Gazprom supply deal with Ukraine expires.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/eb1ebca8-9514-11e5-ac15-0f7f7945adba.html#axzz3sudBbD2b

Poland recently called on Brussels to ban the Nordstream project.

EU Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic stressed during his state of the energy union address on Wednesday that the European Commission will scrutinize whether the Nord Stream plan complies with EU rules.

Berlin and Moscow had already seen it coming. That is why they “are effectively conspiring to dodge the EU’s energy rules.”

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German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel stressed the importance of the Nord Stream expansion and assured Putin that the German government will do its best to limit the possibility of “external meddling” and “political interference” in the project

http://russia-insider.com/en/business/brussels-alarmed-germany-and-russia-conspire-dodge-eu-energy-rules/ri11382

Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has long been a thorn in the side of the United States and some European countries.

In order to free Europe from Gazprom’s “stranglehold,” Washington and Brussels have been promoting the Southern Gas Corridor and sabotaging new Russian projects.

The South Stream saga demonstratedthat the U.S. and the European Commission (EC) will go to great lengths to lessen Russia’s influence over European energy markets, even if that means puttingEurope’s energy security at risk.

Last month, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria and Ukraine as well as the Nord Stream 2 project.

Gabriel stressed the importance of the Nord Stream expansion and assured Putin that the German government will do its best to limit the possibility of “external meddling” and “political interference” in the project:

“Mr Miller [Deputy Chairman of Gazprom] and Mr Matthias Warnig [CEO of Nord Stream] will continue to pursue Nord Stream 2 project. This is in our interests; but it is not just in Germany’s interests – it is a very interesting project even beyond Germany’s borders.

If we can ensure that it remains in German hands, opportunities for external meddling will be limited, and we are on track to do so.

To limit political meddling – which is not just a formality – we need to settle the issue of Ukraine’s role as a transit nation after 2019. given that its gas transportation system is not in very good condition, not to mention the Ukraine’s  financial and political role.

I believe we can handle this if  German agencies maintain authority over these issues,  limiting the possibility of political interference in this project.”

Brussels seems to have other ideas.

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