The Unbearable Needlessness of Nord Stream 2

The article points out the following:

  1. The planned Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline would be a redundant gas transmission infrastructure for Europe.
  2. The Russians are presumably having political motivation behind, Central-Eastern Europe (CEE) are set to lose out by reduction of the alternative sourcing possibilities vis-à-vis Russian gas because of the elimination of the Ukrainian transit route.
  3. Gazprom is lining up considerable energy, funds and international support beside NS2. Adjacent pipline capacities from Germany down to Slovakia have beened reserved for 20 years at immense cost, the pipes are being built.
  4. The stakes are high, CEE, thus Hungary needs to have a Plan B.

We further argue that

  • EU Commission should obtain the requested mandate to negotiate the case with the Russian side, with the strong instruction that Nord Stream 2 shall only be commissioned in case of the cessation of Gazprom’s Russian gas export monopoly status. This could prevent the elimination of the transit route through Ukraine
  •  In case Nord Stream 2 is likely to be built in its current form and regulatory context, CEE (and Hungary) needs to reach out for and start developing the alternatives: Croatian LNG and adjacent pipe development, pipeline development from the direction of Romanian production (BRUA corridor), Polish-Slovakian interconnector. It’s important to point out that some of these investments (e.g. the LNG terminal) could be forgone in case of the continuation of Ukrainian transit flows, but NS2 poses too large of a risk. Especially for Hungary, where the extended long term contract is to expire at the end of 2019, the planned date for NS2.

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