Photo: Nord Stream 2 (Source: Gazprom)

Nord Stream 2 is Merkel’s biggest mistake, says ex-EU Council president

The decision to build the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was the biggest mistake of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Polish news outlet PAP reported the former president of the European Council Donald Tusk as saying at a recent conference.

“From the point of view of the interests of the European Union, Nord Stream 2 is a bad project,” Tusk said, adding that Merkel had admitted this in a conversation but was helpless in the face of the lobbying force of German entrepreneurs.

As PAP reports, Tusk said he had done everything in his power to make the EU independent of Russian gas supplies, including establishing an energy union, however, many member states were not interested in creating joint resistance to the construction of Nord Stream 2.

According to the former European Council president, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, among others, did not mind the project.

On the other hand, the U.S. openly expressed its resistance to the project, stating that it will increase Russia’s influence and leverage over Europe and that bypassing Ukraine will deprive it of lucrative transit fees.

As reported in February, U.S. oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, AXA Group, and 16 other companies abandoned work on the project.

The U.S. State Department shortly after reiterated its warning that any entity involved in the offshore pipeline project risks U.S. sanctions and should immediately abandon its work.

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Nord Stream 2 runs from Russia to Germany, through the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states.

The $11 billion-worth gas pipeline is designed as two parallel 48-inch lines, roughly 1,200 kilometers long, each starting southwest of St. Petersburg and ending at the German coast at Greifswald.

Russian gas company Gazprom announced in mid-September that the construction of the project had been fully completed. The project will have the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas a year to the EU for at least 50 years.