Russian state-controlled media is gloating today that Germany has prevented the EU Commission from regulating the Nord Stream II project in a move seen as protecting cheap Russian gas for the German economy.
The EU Commission has received the third revision of amendments to the Gas Directive (2009/73/EC); Germany is opposed to the bill in its current form. It seems Germany wants to shield the new pipeline from Russia to the north German coast from EU interference.
The third revision to the amendments includes a paragraph empowering the European Commission to control intergovernmental agreements on gas transportation, formulate basic requirements for negotiations and even block them, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
For Germany, it is crucial to defend Nord Stream 2, Corporations Department Director at Fitch Dmitry Marinchenko told Vedomosti. “Both for access to cheap Russian gas and for geopolitical prestige it’s a demonstration of independence from the United States. Berlin is likely to fight tooth and nail against the adoption of amendments that could put Nord Stream 2 at risk,” the expert noted, added TASS.
According to Marinchenko, the position of the Netherlands is even more interesting. “The country has uneasy relations with Russia, and it is the largest gas producer in the EU, yet it practically finds itself in the same camp with project supporters. Perhaps, the Dutch understand that their production will decline and Europe will need more flexibility in gas purchases,” the expert told Vedomosti.
U.S. President Trump has been vocal about German duplicity in supporting the Kremlin through the pipeline project while spending little on its own defense and enjoying the American defense umbrella. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has not taken kindly to the criticism.