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"Nord Stream will be launched: Vladislav Belov about the agreement between Washington and Berlin on Nord Stream - 2
29.07.2021 19:10

"The problem of Nord Stream 2 is one of the conflict moments with Europe, which Joe Biden has inherited from former President Donald Trump. The German government has always spoken against the sanctions preventing the project from being implemented. Coordination of the positions on Nord Stream 2 was the easiest task for Biden, however, other conflict issues have not been resolved during the meeting with Angela Merkel. It means that Washington, Berlin and Brussels will have to do that in the future", this is how Deputy Director of the RAS Institute of Europe, Head of the German Research Center Dr. Vladislav Belov described the agreement between the US and Germany today, on July 29 during the "Expert's Opinion" show.

The expert emphasized that when making decisions about the launch of the project, the US and Germany had forgotten to ask Russia if it was prepared for those provisions  outlining a "roadmap" of relations between the countries. The document includes strong statement and threats towards Russia and stipulates that "in case of any aggressive behavior by Russia towards Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 will be suspended". However, it does not mention how gas deliveries will be interrupted.

Vladislav Belov mentioned that Poland and Ukraine viewed themselves as victims of the "gas war". The countries were ready to fully give up the Russian gas, but not the transit payments, which were bringing money to the budget. Russia does not refuse to deliver gas to those countries, but there are certain ideological obstacles, which do not allow them buying the Russian gas molecule directly.

"The launch of Nord Stream 2 is a failure for Ukraine, and the agreement between Gasprom and Naftogas is of no importance. According to rough estimates, Gazprom pays Ukraine 2 billion US dollars for 40 cubic meters of gas, and Ukraine plans on keeping and even increasing that volume. I think that even though a semi-market compromise has been reached, today it is beneficial for all parties, including Ukraine and Poland, which will get the transit through their territories. Thus, nobody will be hungry or hurt, however, neither Poland nor Ukraine have even said a small "thank you" for the support of Washington and Berlin, but were only showing hard feeling", added Vladislav Belov.

The expert said that at the same time after the parliamentary elections in Germany, the official position of Berlin on the project might be shaken: "Not everbody in Germany welcomes the launch of Nord Stream 2. If the Greens become part of the coalition, they will, similarly to Poland, start creating obstacles".

The discussion also focused on closing of the St. Petersburg Dialogue providing a platform for exchange of opinions bewteen business communities of Russia and Germany. "The decision about closing the St. Petersburg Dialogue is not politically smart or correct, timely or constructive. Despite that, our cooperation cannot be stopped, it will continue in this form or another", summarized the expert.

A recording of the show is available on the YouTube channel of the Gorchakov Fund.