Bütikofer: Russian “shouts of triumph” too early on pipeline

Released on 18.09. 2021

  • According to the Green MEP Bütikofer, the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 could become an investment ruin. Photo: Jens Büttner

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The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is ready. But so far there is no certification by the German authorities. It is unclear when it can start. The Green MEP warns of premature joy.

Brussels (dpa) – The controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 could, in the opinion of the Green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer, become an investment ruin.

«The cry of triumph with which the Russian side the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is premature, ”he told the German press agency. The pipeline was completed a few days ago. In future 55 billions of cubic meters of gas will flow from Russia to Germany annually through the pipeline. However, the project has met with major reservations in neighboring Russian countries such as Poland and the Baltic states.

The USA, Ukraine and other countries had put up bitter resistance to the pipeline. When asked whether the completion of the project last week would be a great triumph for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said: “If Nord Stream 2 goes into operation, then the energy suppliers are just as winners as the consumers. So everyone. »

Even if Nord Stream 2 is now built, the pipeline must meet the requirements of European law, stressed Bütikofer. For example, there is the principle of so-called unbundling (German: Entflechtung). This means that gas production and infrastructure for delivery cannot be in one hand in order to prevent monopolies. “Gazprom has not yet undertaken this unbundling for the pipeline,” said Bütikofer, referring to Nord Stream 2 and the Russian gas giant Gazprom. In addition, according to European energy law, third parties must also have the right to feed into the pipeline, for which Gazprom has not yet found a solution.

Certification by the German authorities is still required for commissioning. It is not clear when the start permit will be given. But even if the Federal Network Agency should approve the operation, the EU Commission could still thwart the project, said Bütikofer. Should she see valid arguments that a possibly positive decision by the Federal Network Agency violates European energy law, the pipeline could become an «investment ruin», according to Bütikofer.

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