The Russian-German Nord Stream pipeline, one of the most scandalous and shameful business deals made in Europe after the Second World War, was formally opened today. Germany´s social democrat chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Russia´s ruler, former KGB agent Vladimir Putin agreed on the Baltic pipeline in 2005. Soon after that, when the socialists had lost the general election, Putin gave his friend Schröder the well-paid job as chairman of the board of Nord Stream. In addition, Putin chose his former Stasi friend Matthias Warnig as managing director for the pipeline company.
|"Genosse" Schröder was posing among the dignitaries, but for some reason his Nord Stream colleague, former Stasi spy Matthias Warnig was missing.|
The entire idea with the completely unnecessary and expensive Nord Stream pipeline was for Russia to be able to circumvent the existing overland pipelines passing e.g. the Ukraine, thus giving Russia an even better chance to blackmail former eastern block countries, which remain dependent on its gas. Russia also hoped to be able to dominate the western European energy market even more.
All this is, however, proving to be an enormous miscalculation. The American led shale gas revolution is bound to change the entire European energy game. Poland, Ukraine and probably some other European countries will in the not too distant future become net exporters of natural (shale) gas. China and a number of other countries are also planning to invest heavily in shale gas projects. Shale gas, together with improving LNG delivieries, will lead to considerably lower international gas prices, thus putting a stop to Putin´s plan to dominate the gas market.
All this means that Russia - and Nord Stream - will never get the kind of prices and profitability that Putin (and Schröder) dreamt of.
So, when Putin´s puppet Medvedev and Germany´s failed chancellor Merkel praise the new pipeline, they suffer from a complete lack of credibility - their statements today were just another example of political theater:
The leaders of Germany and Russia on Tuesday formally opened the Nord Stream pipeline running 760 miles under the Baltic to pump gas from Siberia to the European Union. The project is aimed at ensuring the long-term safety of Europe's energy supplies, but it remains controversial.
The guest list showed the importance attached to the project: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attended the official opening on Tuesday of the Baltic underwater gas pipeline running from Vyborg near St Petersburg in Russia to Lubmin in northeastern Germany.
They symbolically turned a wheel to start the flow of gas from Siberia to Europe through the 760-mile (1,200 kilometer) pipe, hailing the controversial project as a long-term guarantee of good relations between Russia and the European Union.
The prime ministers of France and the Netherlands, François Fillon and Mark Rutter, were among 400 guests invited to mark the occasion. Merkel said the pipeline heralded "safe, sustainable partnership with Russia in the future" and made a major contribution towards a reliable energy supply for Europe.
Read the entire article here
A previous post about Nord Stream here