From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
Mains level : Not Much
The US, which had previously imposed sanctions to prevent the completion of a major new gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, has now signaled its approval for the project.
Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
- It is a system of offshore natural gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
- It includes two active pipelines running from Vyborg to Lubmin near Greifswald forming the original Nord Stream, and two further pipelines under construction running from Ust-Luga to Lubmin termed Nord Stream 2.
- In Lubmin the lines connect to the OPAL line to Olbernhau on the Czech border and to the NEL line to Rehden near Bremen.
- The first line Nord Stream-1 was laid and inaugurated in 2011 and the second line in 2012.
- At 1,222 km in length, Nord Stream is the longest sub-sea pipeline in the world, surpassing the Langeled pipeline.
Why is the pipeline controversial?
- The US believed that the project would increase Europe’s dependence on Russia for natural gas.
- Currently, EU countries already rely on Russia for 40 percent of their gas needs.
- The project also has opponents in eastern Europe, especially Ukraine, whose ties with Russia have seriously deteriorated in the aftermath of the Crimean conflict in 2014.
- There is an existing land pipeline between Russia and Europe that runs through Ukraine.
- The country feels that once Nord Storm 2 is completed, Russia could bypass the Ukrainian pipeline, and deprive it of lucrative transit fees of around $3 billion per year.
- Ukraine also fears another invasion by Russia once the new pipeline is operational.