Germany Approves Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline

Nord Stream 2 has received final permission to start construction and operations in Germany.

The EU's eastern European members and Baltic states have tussled with Germany over the pipeline due to concerns it will increase Russia's stranglehold over the EU energy market and cut Ukraine off from gas transit fees.

The United States has voiced similar concerns that the Nord Stream project backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin is as much a political tool as an economic one.

On the other side, Germany, the largest consumer of Russian gas in Europe, views the pipeline as an economic issue financed by five Western firms and has dismissed geo-political objections.

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Nice move to expel diplomats with one hand and shake hands with Gazprom with the other. Two actions that contradict each other. 

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We had same predictions, same scenario for NS1. And none of this happened even with all these crises in Russia - Europe relations over last years and especially last days.  

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Putin can play his own game all by himself. And Europe can't do anything about it. Except to be afraid when winter comes. Year, after year, after year,...  

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This is mutual interest. Russia needs markets for its gas and Europe needs gas. At least until TAP is built. Not sure that Russia would turn off the gas for Germany just to make its geopolitical point. But it would definitely find other ways to do that.  

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I honestly doubt I will live to see TAP. As for geopolitics, right now it's the UK and co. that are trying to make some point that escapes me. One can't really expect Moscow not to respond to diplomat expulsions, can one?

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