Nord Stream 2 “not close to my heart” but cannot simply be reversed – CDU leader
A u-turn on the controversial Russian-German natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 – currently under construction in the Baltic Sea – is unlikely, Christian Democratic Union party head Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told political science magazine Internationale Politik in an interview. “Realistically, it probably cannot be stopped now. There are contracts, there are permits,” the conservative who took over from Chancellor Angela Merkel as party head said. Kramp-Karrenbauer said Nord Stream 2 was “not a project close to my heart” and had been initiated “a long time ago, by a different German government”.
She said the interests of many different countries had to be balanced, but criticised the way the US government tried to assert its economic ones. “It’s not the best interaction between partners and friends to threaten each other with sanctions,” she said. She added that whether Germany is becoming too dependent on Russian gas was a legitimate question, but building domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals reduced this risk.
Germany has come under increasing criticism from other European countries and the US government for greenlighting Nord Stream 2. Proponents of the project argue the pipeline is a commercial investment and key to Europe's supply security, while critics object to Nord Stream 2 on environmental, geopolitical and security grounds. The European Union this week reached a provisional agreement to toughen up regulation of Russian-German natural gas pipeline, but not endanger the project as a whole. In an attempt to smooth tensions over the pipeline, the German government invited US officials and industry representatives for a LNG investor conference in Berlin, and said it would build its own import terminals to provide the infrastructure US companies need to sell LNG to Germany.