Will EU divisions delay Nord Stream 2?

Will EU divisions delay Nord Stream 2?

A recent proposal from the European Commission to amend gas market regulations seems targeted at Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Europe is increasingly divided on the benefits of the project. GRI asks: Will Russia’s economic ambitions be stymied by European opposition?

The case that entrenched interests will prevail

Michael Loginoff argues that the project will complete on time, and that divisions in fact work in its favour:

“Gazprom is expected to receive permits for construction from Sweden, Finland, and Denmark in early 2018.  Legal opposition has recently arisen within Danish parliament, but the law proposed would simply prolong development and increase costs of the pipeline – not prevent its creation.  Taken collectively, the support of key EU member states and their ability to block EC regulation against NS2, coupled with expected German leadership and Scandinavian approvals create an environment favourable to the pipeline’s construction.”

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The case that significant delays are likely

Medvedev Nord Stream

Maria Shagina argues that the pipeline is coming under pressure from US sanctions, new legislation in Denmark, and weakening support in Germany:

“Although no legal basis exists to block the project, the latest developments could significantly delay construction beyond the scheduled completion date in 2020. The European Commission proposal does not target the pipeline directly, but trying to negotiate with Russia on the application of EU rules will be time-consuming and problematic.”

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