Nord stream 2

Did Russia sabotage its own pipelines?

It almost seems worthy of the opening scene in a Bond film. Vital Russian gas pipelines running beneath the Baltic Sea close to Denmark and Sweden are the victims of sabotage. The two countries have warned of leaks from both Nord Stream 1 and 2 after seismologists suggested there had been underwater explosions. No one wants to claim credit for the deed – yet. Who is the Blofeld behind this dastardly scheme? Former Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski, no fan of Russia, sardonically declared on Twitter, ‘Thank you, USA’. That set the conspiracy theorists off. As has a video resurfacing of Joe Biden in February promising America would put an end to

It’s too late to break Europe’s gas reliance on Russia

So, Nord Stream 2 will not be plugged into Germany’s gas grid. A little surprisingly, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been first out of the blocks this morning in the western economic response to Putin’s recognition of breakaway states in eastern Ukraine. The block is not total: what Scholz says is that the certification process for the pipeline will be halted — leaving open the possibility that it might, after all, be connected if Putin starts to behave himself, or Germany becomes especially desperate for gas. Nevertheless, it is a significant move which will have an economic impact on Russia. But it is astonishing that the project was ever allowed to come

What really happens if Russia invades Ukraine?

Russia will pay an enormous price if it invades Ukraine, whether it goes for the whole country or only the eastern region around Donbas. Vladimir Putin has already assembled well over 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, moved in tanks, heavy artillery and aircraft, and brought in the medics and blood supplies needed to deal with casualties. Western governments have evacuated all but essential diplomatic personnel and told their citizens to get out now. Still, no one knows what Putin has decided, or even if he has decided. Visits to Moscow by senior western politicians have yielded little information and no diplomatic solution. The message seems to be that Putin remains

The EU is failing to stand up for eastern Europe

Will the EU stand up for eastern Europe? This question is now being asked by Ukraine following the announcement of a deal between Germany and the USA which paves the way for the completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and western Europe. The deal reached by Merkel and Biden may have placated critics in Washington, but it has failed to allay eastern European concerns over the security implications of the project. The state most affected by Nord Stream 2, Ukraine, has now requested urgent consultations with the European Commission and the German government, adding an air of legal weight to its complaints by invoking provisions

Biden’s backhanded bid to kill Nord Stream 2

Washington, D.C. is universally known as a town divided, a place where compromise and dialogue are often sacrificed at the altar of competing agendas. But on one issue, at least, there is consensus: the 764-mile Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will pump Russian natural gas into Germany is a project that must be stopped. And the United States needs to use all of the economic and diplomatic tools at its disposal to do it. In both congressional testimony and in meetings with Nato allies, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reiterated the official U.S. view that Nord Stream 2 is ‘a bad deal’ for Europe, a potential cash windfall