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Nord Stream 2 will break apart the EU

Many EU members oppose it. It will make other members more exposed to Russian political pressure and blackmail.

The majority within European Union – i.e. 80 % of the Members of the European Parliament, and 24 out of 28 member states – oppose NS2 in the way Kremlin and German government want it to proceed.

With Gazprom directly supplying large quantities of gas to the west European markets, avoiding eastern Europe, the existing West-East capacity would quickly be exhausted. This would make it impossible to deliver any more gas from North-Western countries to the South-East of Europe. Almost all countries to the East of Germany will be significantly affected, while in some with a high demand for gas Gazprom will get an essentially captive market.

Launching NS2 will reinforce Gazprom’s dominant position in these countries already susceptive to the Russian influence in their political agenda. Essentially big parts of Central and Eastern Europe, not just Ukraine, and the Balkans will face much higher risks of coercion.

Source: East European Gas Analysis

Contrary to its propaganda of being a reliable partner, Gazprom, in fact, has an astonishing track record of being a disruptive and aggressive bully in Europe. Over 40 politically driven energy cut offs and altogether over 50 coercive incidents against Russia’s neighbors between 1991 and 2004 were identified by Swedish scholars.

In 2006 and 2009 Gazprom created artificial crises of gas transit halt via Ukraine trying to present the latter as the culprit “stealing gas”. However, what should really matter to the EU is that in both instances it was Gazprom under orders from Kremlin that shut down the gas valves, not Ukraine.

More recently, from autumn 2014 to spring 2015, Gazprom was ordered by Putin to unilaterally cut supplies via Nord Stream 1 by up to 50% to countries (Poland, Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary) that displeased the Kremlin by selling gas to Ukraine through reverse gas flow mechanisms. This is the most serious act of coercion by Gazprom in Europe since the company’s 2009 transit halt.

Source: East European Gas Analysis In 2015, Russian naval vessels in Lithuania’s exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea chased and disrupted ships that were laying the NordBalt electricity cable, intended to create an integrated Baltic electricity market. These Russian naval actions present a new military threat to energy in Europe and can similarly be deployed after NS2 is launched.