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13 Feb 2019, 13:55
Benjamin Wehrmann

"Currency for secure energy" - Russian ambassador dismisses Nord Stream 2 critics

Rheinische Post

The Russian-German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is a “win-win” project that will benefit both Europe and Russia, Moscow’s ambassador in Germany, Sergey Nechayev, told the Rheinische Post in an interview. Nechayev said he couldn’t understand why the pipeline had caused such a controversy among EU countries and between Germany and the United States. “We get the currency, Germany gets a secure and reliable energy supply,” the ambassador said, arguing that “our gas is safer than nuclear power and can be produced in a much cleaner way than American liquefied gas (LNG).” He said France’s sudden objections to the pipeline irritated the Russian government, and he accused the US of politicising a largely economic concern to stifle competition in the European energy market. On supply security, Nechayev said Russia had always maintained a stable gas supply to Western Europe, even at the height of the Cold War; “why should this be different now?”

The construction of Nord Stream 2, which runs parallel to Nord Stream 1 in the Baltic Sea, has subject to contentious debate in the European Union for years, with Eastern European countries in particular seeing it as a challenge to EU solidarity that will exclude them from energy trading. Under President Donald Trump, US opposition to the pipeline grew considerably. The German government’s decision to rapidly establish infrastructure for better LNG trading with the US is seen as a gesture of appeasement towards Washington.

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