The Swiss company that is building Nord Stream 2 – the new pipeline connecting German gas consumers, with supply from the Russian behemoth Gazprom – issued a statement last week announcing that it was beginning preparations to bring it into service. There are, of course, many hurdles still to clear, but the project is inching ever closer to completion. Germany’s local elections at the weekend suggest the Greens’ appeal is waning, so domestic opposition looks unlikely to stymie development. Even the United States, which has opposed Nord Stream 2 under three successive administrations, has recognized it is now effectively a “fait accompli.”
Nord Stream 2 is remarkable in three separate ways: it embeds fossil fuels deeper into the European economy at a time when we desperately need to decarbonize; it enriches the Kremlin at a time when we should be starving it of funds to deter its ever-more-aggressive policies; and, it removes what scant leverage Ukraine and Poland have over the policies taken by their neighbors in Berlin and Moscow, at a time when Russia is already occupying parts of Ukraine and coming ever-closer to swallowing Belarus. Any one of those points would be sufficient to make it a disastrous idea; taken together they make it pretty much the worst foreign policy development in recent European history.
League of Ukrainian Canadians