Despite these new developments, Germany believes it is too late to stop the completion of the controversial gas pipeline from Russia, Nord Stream 2, whose existence may encourage Russian President Vladimir Putin to attack Ukraine, biznesalert.pl wrote.
US senators plan to impose new sanctions on the pipeline under the Baltic Sea, despite President Joe Biden’s objections and criticism in Germany, the Polish website reported.
According to US intelligence agencies, Russia may be preparing an invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, and despite Moscow’s denials, sources in NATO told FT the evidence provided by Washington to the alliance’s foreign ministers in Riga last week was extremely comprehensive, beznesalert.pl wrote. The website added that Russia had reportedly amassed 175,000 military personnel along its border with Ukraine.
What next for Nord Stream 2
Meanwhile, Moscow is pushing through with Nord Stream 2, which would allow it to bypass Ukraine with its deliveries of gas to Europe. Originally scheduled to be ready by the end of 2019, the pipeline has been delayed by American sanctions and the need to comply with the European Union’s gas directive. Moreover, Germany’s energy regulator requires that the pipeline be operated by a separate German company, which may further delay its launch, the biznesalert.pl website reported.
There is also growing support for fresh sanctions against “the geopolitical weapon” of Nord Stream 2 in the US Senate, with lawmakers preparing to overturn a likely veto from President Biden, who is seeking to improve relations with Berlin, according to biznesalert.pl.
Jim Risch, a pro-sanctions senator from the Republican Party, noted the completion of Nord Stream 2 would mean Russia could sidestep Ukraine with its gas supplies, and would therefore be able to wage a full-scale war against Kiev, without worrying about damage to its infrastructure, biznesalert.pl reported.
Meanwhile, Wolfgang Ischinger, who heads the prestigious annual Munich Security Conference, told Germany’s Handelsblatt daily newspaper that it was “obviously too late” to stop Nord Stream 2 in its tracks. The German diplomat pointed out that as Berlin moved away from nuclear energy, it needed gas to supplement power obtained from renewable sources, the Polish biznesalert.pl website wrote.