Published on: January 31, 2022
NORD STREAM PIPELINE
U.S. planning sanctions on Nord Stream Pipeline
WHAT IS THE NORD STREAM PIPELINE
- Consists of two pipelines
- Nord Stream 1 was completed in 2011 and runs from Vyborg in Leningrad to Lubmin near Greifswald, Germany.
- Nord Stream 2 which runs from Ust-Luga in Leningrad to Lubmin was completed in September 2021 and has the capacity to handle 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year once it becomes operational.
- Twin pipelines together can transport a combined total of 110 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year to Europe for at least 50 years.
- Crosses the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of several countries including Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, and the territorial waters of Russia, Denmark, and Germany.
- In Germany, the pipeline connects to the OPAL (Baltic Sea Pipeline) and NEL (North European Pipeline) which further connects to the European grid.
WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIONS TO THE PIPELINE
- Environmentalists argue that it does not fit in with German efforts to cut dependence on fossil fuels and fight climate change.
- Nord Stream 2 has not yet started operating because Germany says it does not comply with German law and has suspended its approval
- Project is also awaiting approval from the European Commission.
- Objection from the U.S – it will make Europe too dependent on Russia, increasing Russia’s influence in Europe.
- There is concern that Russia could use it as a geopolitical weapon.
- Ukraine has objected because it will lose around $2 billion in transit fees once the pipeline becomes operational. Countries like Poland and Belarus also stand to lose transit fees and hence oppose the pipeline as it will bypass existing pipelines running through them.