By Lydia Cherian, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
As tensions rise in Ukraine and abroad, Germany’s neutral stance is supposedly putting a strain on the united front that the EU and NATO are trying to put out against Russia.Germany’s hesitation stems from one main issue, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Gazprom, which funds the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, is a Russian company that is known for being “one of the largest producers and exporters of liquified natural gas (LNG) in Russia.” Gas from Gazprom already accounts for “half of Germany’s gas imports and an average of 40 percent of the rest of Europe’s imports.” Germany is also the largest buyer of Russian gas in the world, with Germany receiving about 53.4 billion centimeters of Russian gas in 2017.
With the possibility of Nord Stream 2 going into effect, more gas would be pumped directly to Europe via the Baltic Sea, giving more leverage for Putin to use against Europe.
The gas will also provide German families with cheap gas for their homes, adding up the reasons as to why the German government is hesitant to put any pressure on Russia for its threatening presence near the border with Ukraine.
Although gas from the pipeline will be beneficial to hundreds of German families, the security risk it poses to Germany is quite alarming. Russian gas imports would dominate roughly 70% of the German economy. Russians would be profiting off of Germany’s need for gas by the billions.
But, what happens when there is conflict between Russia or any Western ally that Germany generally affiliates itself with? America would be a great example of a Western ally of Germany that Russia often has disagreements with. Putin and America are often seen butting heads on various issues, and sometimes America’s response is to sanction Russia. If the pipeline goes through, Russia’s sanction package could include cutting off gas to Germany, creating huge economic problems and weakening Europe’s response to any potential provocative actions made by Putin.