The alleged poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny may have repercussions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea, Europe’s largest gas pipeline project of recent years.
German politicians from various parties, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, have questioned if the German-Russian project should be pursued, given the Russian government is suspected to be involved in the poisoning. Moscow has denied any involvement, Kallanish Energy notes.
The Nord Stream 2 system offers the shortest connection between gas reserves in Russia and Germany. The pipeline, which will carry 55 billion cubic meters per year, was planned to start operations in late 2019, but a start-up is now expected by late 2020-early 2021 due to a number of regulatory and political challenges.
The project has for a long time been unpopular with many other Eastern European countries who feel disadvantaged by the bilateral German-Russian relationship, and it has also faced opposition from within Germany. Additional political pressure came at the beginning of the year when the U.S .government attacked the project and asked Germany to stop pursuing it. This caused some supplier companies to withdraw from the project.
The alleged Russian involvement in the poisoning of Navalny could prove to be another major challenge on the delivery of the project, which also involves five European energy firms. However, even some of those demanding political consequences against Moscow say it makes little sense to stop the project so shortly before completion.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.