Sunday January 24th 2021
Russian ship arrived
Nord Stream Consortium starts work
The conflict over the gas pipeline had broken out again in the past few days.
Notwithstanding new threats of sanctions from the USA, a Russian pipelayer ship has arrived in Danish waters to complete the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to the Nord Stream 2 consortium, “Fortuna” has started work there. This will be done before the construction of the pipeline itself can be resumed. All work will take place within the framework of the permits.
The consortium spoke of preparatory work and tests that would be done before the actual pipe-laying.
The re were therefore several Russian ships in the vicinity that are supposed to support the “Fortuna” with the work.
The construction of the pipeline is almost complete and there is still work to be done in Danish waters.
Waited for Biden to take office
At the beginning of December, work on the 1,200-kilometer pipeline through the Baltic Sea in German waters was resumed after being interrupted for almost a year due to US sanctions. In Denmark’s waters, construction work has been permitted again since January 15th.
First, however, the assumption of office of the new US President Joe Biden was awaited last Wednesday. Shortly before, the government of Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, had informed the federal government that US sanctions would be imposed on the “Fortuna”.
The arrest of the prominent Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny after his return to Russia caused additional criticism. In a resolution on Thursday, the EU Parliament called for construction on the German-Russian pipeline project to be halted.
Foundation as a protective shield for the pipeline
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, on the other hand, remains committed to the controversial pipeline. Critics should not use the current situation to stop the project, said Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig in the evening on ARD. “Because it is important that Germany remains in dialogue with Russia, especially in these difficult times,” said the SPD politician, also referring to the wave of arrests during mass protests of supporters of the imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny in Russia.
In view of the US sanctions, the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had set up a “Foundation for Climate and Environmental Protection”. It should also become economically active as part of a “business operation” and buy material and machines for the pipeline project, which is made more difficult for companies by the sanctions. “Yes, it is possible to temporarily help Nord Stream,” Schwesig said on ARD.
The foundation will neither build nor operate the pipeline: “But wherever American sanctions threaten German companies, we have to see where we can help.” At the same time, she contradicted the representation that environmental protection is of secondary importance to the foundation.
The main purpose of using funds for the environment and climate protection is ultimately unlimited in time.