After the meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Green MPs and political parties from the countries around the Baltic Sea expressed their â€œfirm oppositionâ€ and â€œdislikeâ€ to the Nord Stream 2 project.
In a joint statement released on Thursday (June 17), the signatories, including Green MPs and parties from Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Denmark, said they view the controversial gas pipeline project as a political and environmental failure.
According to the statement, Nord Stream 2, which is supposed to transport Russian gas to Germany, will interfere with Ukraine’s efforts to protect its sovereignty and “right to choose the European route”.
Due to the bloc’s increasing dependence on Russian gas, the project is jeopardizing Europe’s energy sovereignty, according to the Greens.
The critics also list environmental concerns, saying the pipeline is in violation of the European Green Deal. Gas should not be seen as an intermediate step towards renewable sources, and investing in gas infrastructure could deepen dependence on fossil fuels, the statement said. Instead, the focus should be on a trans-European power grid, especially in the Baltic States.
The Green Alliance therefore condemns Nord Stream 2 as a blow to the credibility and global reputation of the EU. By expanding fossil fuel infrastructure, the EU is guilty of hypocrisy and cannot lead by example in efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, the signatories wrote.
At the end of May, the Biden government waived US sanctions against supporters of the pipeline. With around 95% of the pipeline completed, construction is expected to be completed within a few months.
The discussion about the project could gain momentum around the federal election in September.
Germany’s Greens have anchored plans to abolish the controversial pipeline for transporting Russian gas in Europe’s largest economy in their election manifesto, thus creating a hurdle for a possible alliance with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.
“The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project is not only a political project because of its climate and energy effects, but also because it causes damage at a geopolitical level – especially in view of the situation in Ukraine – and should therefore be stopped,” the program said the Greens reads and adds that Russia is increasingly becoming an “authoritarian state”.
The project will bypass its western ally Ukraine and potentially deprive it of valuable transit fees. It will also compete with supplies of liquefied natural gas from the United States.
(Pekka VÃ¤nttinen | EURACTIV.com)