Itching the West: «Nord stream-2» will still block
The candidate for the post of head of the European Commission Manfred Weber promised to make every effort to block the implementation of the Nord stream — 2 project. In his opinion, the project harms the interests of Europe.
«Thinking about Europe, we should think about independence from Russian gas. We have difficult discussions on this topic with French and German politicians and other European leaders. As the head of the European Commission, I use all the rules to block Nord Stream 2,» he said in an interview with the Polska Times.
Meanwhile, at the beginning of March, the operator of the project Nord Stream 2 noted that more than half of the route of the future gas pipeline has already been laid. Is it possible to stop the project at this stage? Dubiously.
But to prevent the pipeline from being launched on schedule — at the beginning of next year, to create problems with pumping gas through an already functioning pipeline — this is quite possible. Recall that the timing of the launch, according to Western experts, can move because of the position of Denmark, which has not yet issued a building permit, and the new gas Directive adopted in the EU, can leave the pipe half empty, as it prohibits «Gazprom» to use it one hundred percent. to block the project, the speech, most likely, doesn’t go anymore. Then why is Weber talking about it? What powers will he receive if he heads the EC and whose interests he represents?
— Manfred Weber — the leader of the European faction «European people’s party», as well as a member of the German Christian social Union, Bavarian «sister» party in relation to the Christian Democratic Union, — says the Executive Director of the international monitoring organization CIS-EMO Stanislav Byshok.
— Weber has already been designated by the «populists» as the main candidate in the elections to the European Parliament, which will be held in may this year.
According to opinion polls, the «European people’s party» will remain the largest faction in the European Parliament, but the traditional coalition of «populists» with the Social Democrats will no longer have an absolute majority. In this regard, the right and left centrists will need a third coalition partner, which can be liberals or «green». Anyway, Weber has a good chance to become a compromise figure as the head of the European Commission.
— And whether the head of the European Commission to block the «SP-2»?
— The head of the European Commission personally cannot do this, but the body as a whole is a kind of European Cabinet, the highest Executive power in the European Union, so theoretically it could block the implementation of a pan-European project in its jurisdiction. Whether another pan-European body can overcome this blockage is a question for specialists in pan-European legislation.
«Will the elections to the European Parliament change anything? In General, what radical changes can happen in Europe before the introduction of the SP-2?
— According to forecasts, the «extreme» spectra of the political composition of the European Parliament will increase, traditionally-the establishment parties will lose the absolute majority. It is believed that the «extreme» tend to be more understanding and even sympathy for Russia than the establishment. This is to some extent, although not unambiguously, true of right-wing populists, but the extreme left has different positions here. If the German Die Linke — frankly friendly to Moscow structure, the «green» considers Russia almost the same evil as global warming.
— Nord Stream 2 noted that more than half of the route of the future gas pipeline has already been laid. Many experts doubt that the project can be stopped at this stage of implementation. What do you think? Do you agree that the European opponents of the project have already done the maximum that can seriously complicate the functionality of the pipeline? or are there more surprises?
— World politics in recent years shows a lot of surprises, which then experts and ordinary commentators «retroactively» trying to explain how, allegedly, quite logical and predictable. Under certain conditions, the pipeline can be completely completed, but then its use can be blocked. I agree that this option is unlikely, but it does not mean that it is impossible.
Weber expressed his rejection of Nord stream 2 in an interview with the Polish edition. Perhaps it left a certain imprint on the tone of politics.
At the same time, the idea of diversifying Europe’s energy imports is certainly legitimate. In this vein, the Nord stream-2 policies of different orientation can be interpreted — and interpreted — in quite the opposite way. Some say that the gas pipeline will allow Moscow to politically manipulate Europe, while others, on the contrary, are convinced that Nord stream 2 will ensure the energy security of European countries, making them more independent.
— Weber — the European Parliament Deputy from the Bavarian Christian social Union — recalls the Associate Professor of the Department of regional studies and Foreign policy of the Russian state humanitarian University, Vadim Trukhachev.
— Belongs to the Atlantic and anti-Russian wing. Is considered close to Angela Merkel, despite affiliation to CSU, not to CDU. And he represents the interests of the part of officials and business circles in Germany, which seeks to get closer to the United States.
— What are his chances to become the head of the EC?
— Much depends on what will be the outcome of the elections to the European Parliament. Given that the German at the head of the European Commission has not stood, and the European people’s party (which includes the CDU/CSU) will certainly be the largest faction of the European Parliament, the chances are quite high. But there are rumors that in fact the European Commission will be headed by Merkel herself. What can he do to the Nord stream in this position? What he gets the powers?
— He can’t do much on his own. But with the assistance of a number of European commissioners and MEPs, he can tighten the rules for the use of the pipeline to pump less gas. In order for Ukraine and Poland as transit countries to lose at a minimum, and Russia’s share in the European gas market to decrease.
«SP»: — the Newspaper writes that in the European Commission, and in the European Parliament remains a negative attitude to almost half built Russian pipe. Is that so? What’s the danger?
— Little depends on the European Parliament. From the European Commission — more, but it is not able to fully become a project. But it can. For example, bringing the question to the meeting of the European Council, where the heads of state and government sit. The there final decision in such a case and will accept. They can also put pressure on States that have not decided on their opinion about the project.
«: — Elections to the European Parliament will somehow affect the situation?
— They can contribute to a new noise around the project, but the decision on the construction of the pipeline is not taken by the European Parliament. Its resolutions on this issue are not binding. At the same time, elections affect the composition of the European Commission, and more depends on it.
«— Weber believes that Europe should think about independence from Russian gas. Is it possible? Or only at the cost of dependence on the American?
— In the current scenario, the EU’s refusal of Russian gas will result in the need to buy gas at exorbitant prices in the US. Dependence on the Middle East and North Africa will also increase. Alternative energy sources do not give so much so far. So in the near future to abandon the Russian gas EU can not.
«— Do you agree that the European opponents of the project have already done the maximum that can seriously complicate the functionality of the pipeline, or we are waiting for more surprises?
— Attempts to put a spoke in the wheel continues even when the pipeline is completed. And even when the gas is running.