Northstream and the dependence from Russia
Nordstream (Northstream) is controversial as to whether it is a political or an economic project or both, but it has to be classified. On the one hand, Germany and Europe are already dependent on Russian oil and gas for energy and it does not change anything substantially.. Nabuco and Southern Stream from the Caucasus and via Turkey and then Bulgaria to the rest of Europe have so far failed or been blocked. In addition, these transatlantic disruptions already existed at the time of Helmut Schmidt and Kohl. catchphrase: natural gas pipeline (German: Erdgasröhrengeschäft) , which initiated this energy dependency, but never questioned the deployment of Pershing 2 and Cruise missile. So retrofitting and at the same time East Policy (Ostpolitik) and natural gas pipe business with Russia during the Cold War. A recipe for success that Franz Josef Strauss at an advanced age by means of his billions in loans and Genscher’s change through trade used by himself when he bought out Schalck-Golodowski and the SED. Especially since then, as now, one trusts that a possible delivery stop would hit the Russian treasury more, especially since it is financed to 60% from this same energy income. That would have been even worse than the explosion of NATO arments programs which brought the Sovjet Union to death.
The difference is that the USA has had its fracking oil and gas since Obama and now also with Trump, which on the one hand makes it more independent from the Greater Middle East, which is why, with the exception of Iran, they are withdrawing from this oilrich region and are focusing their forces more in the Asian Pivot against China, and on the other hand want to make it an export hit regardless of environmental damage – in open competition with OPEC and the Russians. Trump shouts No Opec, but on the other hand he intervened in the oil price war of Saudi Arabia and OPEC against Russia, as the US oil multinationals and the entire fracking industry threatened to go bankrupt en masse.
The second difference is that Nordstream is a crutch solution for the German energy transition, which should fill the energy gaps in view of the simultaneous shutdown of nuclear and coal-fired power plants and in view of the fact that there are now a lot of wind farms at sea, but not the required power lines. Of the 6500 km of power lines required, just 650 km were built in the last decade. At this rate, the energy transition (Energiewende) is failing and Nordstream is used as a stopgap and gas is used as a bridging technology. It is interesting that former minister for ecology Trittin defends the project against its own Green Party. Former Environment Minister Trittin argues that, in theory, Nord Streams would not even be necessary, if the government implemented an ambitious and multi-billion energy saving program, but this could not be done politically with the black- yellow, black-red or even a black-green government coalition, also in view of the costs for the population, their foreseeable resistance and the state treasury. Therefore this de facto energy gap would exist in view of the shutdown of coal and nuclear power plants, which is why the Greens should only agree to Nord Stream in real politics terms.
Nordstream is more of an economic emergency solution as a result of the energy transition. Nevertheless, it is also unwantedly a political project, as it puts a strain on political and economic relations with Poland, Ukraine and the USA in particular. But the German gas from Russia are supposed to be delivered to Europe without transit countries – This buries the EU Energy Union, but makes it resurrect in a new German-Russian fashion, especially since Nordstream supplies from Russia are not only delivered to Germany but also to other European countries. Admittedly, this is a long way off from an EU energy union that is strategically planning for Europe under the aegis of the EU Commission.
But Merkel seems to see Putin as the more reliable and cheaper energy supplier than Poland, Ukraine and Trump, who can turn off the tap in Germany and Europe, especially since the two gas crises between the EU and Russia have not been forgotten when Ukraine illegally diverted massive amounts of gas and oil itself. The construction of LNG terminals and infrastructure is also quite expensive and LNG gas is a lot more expensive than Russian gas. And new LNG terminals, the whole new infrastructure and US-LNG gas are more expensive than Northstream. But as long as Trump is in power, there will be a conflict about Northstream between Germany, the EU and the USA.But in spite of everything, it will remain on the transatlantic agenda of a non-Trump government, even though the Eastern Europeans also buy massive amounts of oil and gas from Russia, especially Poland.