Encouraging developments took place this week in Ukraine’s quest to get European nations to back out of a partnership with Russia to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The $10 billion pipeline would transport up to 55 billion cubic meters of gas under the Baltic Sea, from Russia to Germany, and bypass Ukraine’s gas transportation network. Nord Stream 2 could be completed by the end of 2019.
Morally, it’s wrong to be helping Russia’s economy while hurting Ukraine’s simultaneously. But Europe also needs economic reasons to ditch the project. This is where U.S. help in supplying liquified natural gas and encouragement of other, renewable energy sources will help.
It was heartening to read the comments of Roderich Kiesewetter, the point person for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bloc in parliament’s foreign affairs committee on July 27. As reported by Bloomberg, Kiesewetter said Nord Stream 2 “mustn’t come at the expense of Ukraine or Eastern Europe” and welcomed the U.S. Congress adoption of sanctions on Russia to rein in U.S. President Donald J. Trump. “The cause of the sanctions is the unlawful occupation of Crimea, is the destabilization of Eastern Ukraine,” Kiesewetter is quoted as telling Deutschlandfunk public radio. Amen.