The delay in the construction of “Nord stream-2” will not pose a threat to the energy market of the European Union shortly in the context of the economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for gas is stagnating, according to Nikolay Kaveshnikov, head of the Department of European integration at MGIMO, an expert of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).
“In the current situation, when the demand for gas in Europe is stagnating and will continue to stagnate in the coming years as a consequence of the economic downturn after the coronavirus pandemic, in this situation, of course, the unfinished construction of “Nord stream-2″ will not pose a threat to the EU energy market. The supply of this gas in the coming years is not vital for Europe,” Kaveshnikov said.
According to the expert, “Nord stream-2” is a constant source of irritation between the US and some European countries. “Even though other European Union countries support the US position and try in every way to disrupt the construction of the gas pipeline. So Europe is significantly divided in this regard, I mean the European Union,” he said.
In his opinion, if the “Nord stream-2” is completed, the US will not increase sanctions pressure on the Europeans and Russia after the fact. “However, any attempts to complete the construction of the “Nord stream” will be met in Washington with attempts to impose any sanctions,” Kaveshnikov believes.
He added that the possibility of completing “Nord stream-2” is a very complex issue. “Russian companies have technical capacities at their disposal, but they require adaptation and modernization, and this modernization is most likely possible only with the use of different technical capacities. Whether foreign, especially European, firms will be ready to assist in the modernization of Russian vessels is an open and ambiguous question,” the expert stressed.
“Nord stream-2” involves the construction of two strands of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The project is actively opposed by the United States, which promotes its liquefied natural gas in the EU, as well as Ukraine and some European countries. The States in December imposed sanctions against the project, requiring the companies leading the lying to stop construction immediately. Swiss Allseas almost immediately announced the suspension of the gas pipeline.