⦁ Why in News:

⦁ Recently, the US has approved the Germany-Russia Nord Stream 2 Pipeline (NS2P) project – which significantly increases Europe’s energy dependence on Russia.
⦁ The US had previously imposed sanctions to prevent the completion of this gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

⦁ About the stream:

⦁ This is a 1,200-km pipeline that runs from Ust-Luga in Russia to Greifswald in Germany through the Baltic Sea. It will carry 55 billion cubic metres of gas per year.
⦁ It was decided to build this pipeline in 2015.
⦁ Nord stream 1 system is already completed and together with NS2P, it will supply 110 billion cubic metre of gas a year to Germany.

⦁ Implications:

⦁ EU’s Dependence on Russia:

⦁ It will increase Europe’s dependence on Russia for Natural Gas, currently EU (European Union) countries already rely on Russia for 40% of their gas needs.

⦁ Bypassing Ukraine:

⦁ There is an existing pipeline between Russia and Europe through Ukraine, once the NS2P project is completed it would bypass Ukraine and deprive it of a significant transit fee of around $ 3 billion per year.

⦁ Geopolitical win for Russia:

⦁ It can be a generational geopolitical win for Russia and a catastrophe for the United States and its allies.

⦁ US’ New Stand:

⦁ Softer Option to threaten Russia:

⦁ The US has gone with the softer option of threatening Russia with consequences should it use the pipeline to harm Ukraine or other countries in eastern Europe.
⦁ On one hand, it wants access to Russia’s hydrocarbons, but on the other distrusts Russian President Vladimir Putin, who it holds responsible for a series of affronts, such as the Crimean conflict of 2014 and the alleged interference in the US elections of 2016 and 2020.

⦁ Germany’s own Act against Russia:

⦁ The US-Germany deal lays out that Germany by itself will put sanctions and limit Russian exports, if ‘Russia attempts to use the energy as a weapon and commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine’.

⦁ Green Fund for Ukraine:

⦁ Germany has to “utilise all available leverage” to extend by 10 years the current Russia-Ukraine gas transit agreement.
⦁ Germany also has to contribute at least $175 million to a new $1 billion “Green Fund for Ukraine” that aims at improving the country’s energy independence.