A Pipeline Dividing Europe?

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, owned and operated by a firm whose majority stockholder is Russian state energy company Gazprom, has been one of the most contentious energy projects in recent years. Its supporters argue that the pipeline, which is to extend directly from Russia to Germany along the floor of the Baltic Sea, will bring needed gas supplies to Western Europe. Its opponents argue that the purpose of NS2 is primarily political – to undermine the European Union and give the Kremlin political leverage over those countries in Central and Eastern Europe which now derive revenues from gas transit fees.

In “Nord Stream 2: A Pipeline Dividing Europe?” professor Alan Riley writes that Russia has had some success deploying Nord Stream 2 as a means to achieve its aims, splitting Europe internally and Europe from the United States, undermining trust in EU law, dividing Europe’s single gas market, and isolating Ukraine. But Russia’s prospects for future success may be limited with the amendment to the 2009 Gas Directive, which formally extends EU law to import pipelines. CEPA’s latest report report examines the strategies that Russia has employed so far, the implications of the Gas Directive, how Russia could react, and how Europe could build resilience moving forward.



Photo: “Gazprom” by Ruben Van Eijk under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Dr. Alan Riley is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Statecraft, Temple Place in London. In the interests of full disclosure it should be noted that Riley has advised PGNiG and Naftogaz.

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Alan Riley

June 26, 2019