Europe is undergoing its worst energy crisis in generations, with key companies collapsing and widespread misery expected this winter. Germany, a strongly industrialised country, has been particularly hard hit, with more than half of all small and medium-sized businesses anticipating a shutdown.
On February 7, President Biden threatened that “There would be no Nord Stream 2. We will put an end to it.” And on September 26th, a series of explosions seriously damaged the Russian Nord Stream pipelines, rendering them inoperable indefinitely, if not permanently. With the pipelines no longer operating, Europe would have to satisfy and adjust to the limited quantity of gas that can be shipped by tanker, at a cost many times greater. The only immediate respite for the Euro zone is the lifting of self-destructive energy sanctions placed on Russia and the resumption of cheap Russian natural gas flowing through the Russian-owned Nord Stream pipelines.
Once politicians have recovered from the hangover of putting sanctions and properly comprehended the larger consequences of the Nord Stream attack, they will be in a better position to assess reality. This is not the type of circumstance where arm twisting will help; instead, it may backfire. All available gas suppliers are either pre-occupied, sanctioned by the US (Iran and Russia), or cannot be distributed owing to cost and transportation.
Russia had no incentive to harm billion dollar of Gazprom’s energy infrastructure that they could use as leverage. They could just switch it off, as they had done previously, and re-route the gas to other clients.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government desired to export as little oil and natural gas to the EU as possible. The idea that Russia would deliberately destroy its own energy infrastructure is ludicrous. All they needed was to make a big buck in order to fund the war, and they could simply turn off the valves to stop the gas from flowing. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline is worth billions, with Gazprom owning 51%.
According to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, “Reconstruction of the damaged pipeline is possible but it will require time and appropriate funds.” Gazprom disclosed that there is an unbroken string of NS2 that might be utilised “possibly.” Because of a Berlin political decision, NS2 was not even operational.
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