The German “Der Spiegel” informs that for the SPD, which won the Bundestag elections and is in the process of forming a government coalition, Nord Stream 2 is a “prestigious project”. In turn, the FDP and the Greens are critical of the pipeline, the construction of which has recently been completed. However, the dispute among potential coalition partners may be excluded from the negotiations.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is a potential contentious element for the three parties that are likely to form a joint coalition government – the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the FDP liberals.
The SPD campaigned for the construction of Nord Stream 2, and Gerhard Schroeder, the former SPD chancellor, also lobbied for it. Manuela Schwesig (SPD), prime minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, who won the last national elections by far, “promoted the controversial highway that goes from sea to shore near Greifswald (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern).”
On the other hand, the position and actions of the SPD on Nord Stream 2 are inconsistent with the program and ideas proclaimed by the FDP and the Greens regarding climate and foreign policy. “However, in preliminary and possible later discussions coalition negotiations with the Social Democrats, this thorny topic is to be avoided as much as possible “,” Der Spiegel “learned.
Reduced gas supplies from Russia as “political pressure on Germany”?
“The management board of NS2 may soon receive the final concession needed to operate, which the future coalition partners apparently do not want to interfere. Instead, it is planned to include in the coalition agreement phrases that are to prevent the construction of new gas pipelines. This could be justified by the independence of energy supply in Germany and desirable climate neutrality “- informs the weekly.
“In addition, a provision could be added that would oblige gas suppliers to maintain minimum levels in gas storage. This summer they were insufficient, which is one of the reasons for the high prices” – emphasizes “Der Spiegel”. Gas prices have been rising sharply for weeks, partly due to lower supplies from Russia. As some experts suspect, it may be the Russian president Vladimir Putin, who thus “wants to exert political pressure on Germany to approve the launch of the gas pipeline as soon as possible,” the weekly believes. – We have to ask ourselves whether the Kremlin’s geopolitical considerations are behind this situation – comments Steven Pifer, former US ambassador to Ukraine in “Der Spiegel”.
The dispute with the US over Nord Stream 2
Chancellor Angela Merkel this summer managed to resolve a dispute with the US administration over the gas pipeline. She agreed to a joint statement with US President Joe Biden, where it states, inter alia, that “effective measures, including sanctions” should be taken in the event that Russia tries to “use energy as a weapon” – reminds the weekly and notes: “The SPD has hope the Greens and Liberals will not bring up the Nord Stream 2 issue again because of this deal. ” Germany would like to include Ukraine in the energy partnership, which has suffered from the launch of the Russian gas pipeline. “Ukraine could convert green electricity into hydrogen (…) and export it to Germany. This could reduce the anxiety of Ukraine, which fears that the existing pipeline passing through its own territory will become redundant, which would mean a loss of income for the Ukrainian state. strengthening such energy partnerships could also be included in the coalition agreement, “Der Spiegel found out.
The construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been completed, currently the investment is awaiting permits from the German and European authorities. “This process is likely to extend into next year, and therefore probably will take longer than the current coalition negotiations between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP,” the weekly emphasizes.
Main photo source: Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt