Nord stream – new Berlin wall?

Though Europe is so rich of history and in some ways even obsessed with its preservation, toleration and admiration, apparently it is too reluctant to study it and learn from it.

For 50 years Europe was divided by Berlin wall and its destruction in 1989 was a road to unification of European nations. Today, just 20 years after this historic event Europe is building a new ‘Berlin wall’ – Nord Stream pipeline. Official ceremony with the presence of Russia’s president will be on Friday (April 9), but the work has started.

In these harsh times, when economists are still wondering if the lowest point of our economic crisis is reached or not yet, even the greatest advocates of environment, sustainability, clean Baltic Sea etc – Scandinavian countries – have eventually given their ‘yes’ to this mega project which is expected to diversify gas supplies to Europe (formal justification). Just couple of years ago when I was lucky to be involved in the Baltic sea region cooperation, Nord stream project ‘enjoyed’ a quite strong opposition from Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden and Finland, which were very concerned both about environment and security.

BUT, apparently, Russia needed just max two years to finalize negotiations with involved countries, where initial principles have been successfully compromised.

But, unfortunately, this pipeline is not just about gas. It’s about cutting off Baltic countries and Poland as transit countries of Russian energy supplies to Europe; it’s about regional stability; it’s about Baltic sea which in terms of its health is in coma; it’s about eventual and unavoidable pollution; it’s about increasing influence of Russia on Europe; it’s about division of Europe. Again.

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2 thoughts on “Nord stream – new Berlin wall?

  1. Agree! And Russia has made a very good (I would not say strong, because everybody is pulling the blanket to their own side anyway) relations with Italy, with France, with Germany, and as we all saw at the Georgia’s war – old Europe will step aside and will avoid confrontation wit Russia whatever it costs…and this case is about gas supplies and Scandinavia stays alone, thinking about environment, pollution, stability…for old Europe cheaper gas is much more important, than scared and threatened Baltic states or worries of Scandinavians. Actually, exatly Latvia was the first one which signed some kind of agreement about Nord Stream, while Estonia were still thinking about consequences (pls. correct me if I’m wrong).

  2. ….and keeping in mind the ongoing disaster in Gulf of Mexico, this decision to build this pipeline seems to be as a conscious suicide of the region. Hopefully, current financial crisis will limit financial capabilities of the project owners and this insane idea will just die…

    regarding Latvia’s deal with Russia (LV gives its permit to build this pipeline thorough its territorial waters in exchange of Russia’s agreement to build connection between this pipeline and gas reservoirs in Dobele or Incukalns) it was already in 2006 if not earlier when indeed Latvia was ready to make this compromise. There were even rumors that some of the high level politicians got shares in this business in exchange of positive Latvia’s position on this extraordinary and risky project.

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