Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 28.03.2018
Nord Stream 2 is a scheme to finance Russia’s invasion of Europe in Ukraine. Profits from Gazprom drive the Russian war machine that is destroying lives in Crimea and Donbas. It is an outrage that Gazprom, Vladimir Putin, Alexey Miller, and Gerhard Schröder have not been sanctioned for the grave threat to international peace and security that they constitute. It is a crime against Ukrainians and all Europeans that Germany backs the corruption scheme that is Nord Stream 2.
Nord Stream 2 is pushed by Russian propaganda as just another natural gas pipeline. But it is a weapon wielded by Putin to achieve his war aims. This is what Russia wants to achieve with its Nord Stream 2 weapon:
1) damage the economy and wreck the nationhood of Ukraine by taking away gas transit revenue;
2) destroy the unity of European Union member states;
3) increase the dependence of Germany on Russian natural gas;
4) destabilize Europe’s energy security by derailing diversification of energy supply;
5) make sure that a rules-based, regulation-adhering, contract-abiding gas market does not take root in Europe;
6) boost the potency of Russia’s gas blackmail weapon against Europe.
Germany has taken another step into the abyss of Russia’s evil Nord Stream 2 plans by approving the permits Gazprom needs for final construction in Germany and German territorial waters. Denmark has a chance to thwart those evil plans by denying permits for the pipeline to pass through Danish territorial waters, but is delaying its decision. Ukraine’s Naftogaz has won two great victories for European energy security against the threats to it by Russia’s Gazprom, at the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal. Ukraine also rescued European gas consumers by defeating Gazprom in the gas war Putin started at the beginning of March.
It’s not too late to kill Nord Stream 2 – and it must die if Europe is to live. Naftogaz of Ukraine CEO Andriy Kobolyev has stated that Nord Stream 2 in no way contributes to the diversification of gas supplies to the European Union and neither does it provide the EU access to new sources of gas. In addition, Kobolev noted that the pipeline could deprive Ukraine of its transit revenues.
Gazprom refuses to abide by final and binding awards in two commercial arbitration cases with Naftogaz. Gazprom made clear that the Russian gas monopoly refuses to resume deliveries to Ukraine as ordered by the Tribunal in the Gas Sales Case concluded in December last year, and refused to confirm that it will pay the $2.6 billion which the Tribunal ordered it to pay in the Gas Transit Case award which was rendered in February. Both arbitration awards are final and binding on Gazprom.
Gazprom cannot abide by contracts and it cannot abide by arbitration rulings. That means that no one can do business with Gazprom with any confidence whatsoever. The Group Chief Commercial Officer of Naftogaz, Yuriy Vitrenko, said: “Gazprom’s refusal to honour valid arbitration awards by an internationally valued and respected commercial arbitration tribunal seriously questions Gazprom's trustworthiness as a partner to the European gas industry. It is also endangering the respect for contracts as such with its unlawful withholding of payments due under the decisions of the Tribunal.”
Gazprom is venal, it is corrupt, it is a front for the Putin-Kremlin crime syndicate, and it has blood on its hands from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has been raging for over four years. When Germany supports Nord Stream 2 it is supporting Russia’s war against the Ukrainian people. If they go through with the evil Nord Stream 2 scheme, the war crimes of the Putin regime will accrue to the German government and to the boards of directors of Uniper, Wintershall, Shell, OMV, and Engie. Giving money to Gazprom for Russian natural gas is dealing death to Europeans who live in Crimea and Donbas.
Nord Stream 2 is an unconscionable crime against humanity. If Western civilization is to be saved then Russia’s war of global aggression must be stopped and Nord Stream 2 must die.