Europe Responded to Ukraine’s Demand to Cancel “Nord Stream-2”

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

15:10:42
08/04/2018

ria.ru

The appeal to Europe made at the end of the current week in Kiev still waits for its comprehension. First and foremost because so far nobody managed to find sense in it.

“Gazprom’s endeavours to launch the Nord Stream 2 shall land Gazprom’s all-out monopoly down on the European gas market. In this case, Gazprom will have an overwhelming control over the volume and price of the entire gas market in continental Europe, as well as a mighty tool for refusal to supply gas to Central European countries,” it was said in the historical appeal made by the Rada on Thursday.

This appeal has no legal force (which the Rada itself admitted). But nevertheless, in this document the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine directly demanded from all governments of all European countries “to not take part in the preparation, financing, or lobbying of the project of the gas pipeline” along the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

… It was Finland that sensitively responded first.

Being afraid, before Ukraine adopts something the unhurried northern country gave “Nord Stream-2” all the necessary “temporary permissions” for fifty years “with the right to its extension”.

The Germans didn’t even need to react: on March 27th the managing director of the “AG” consortium building the “Nord Stream-2” gas pipeline received a licence for the construction and operation of German infrastructure.

… But in reality matters haven’t yet ended on this. The berries of the flowers are still ahead.

Because the Ukrainian parliamentarians proposed to also urgently hold consultations between the government of Ukraine and the European commission about the inadmissibility of constructing the gas pipeline.

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As a reminder: during all of last year as a minimum the European Commission nearly plaintively begged the national governments of the European countries to give it the “mandate” for negotiations on “Nord Stream-2” with the Russian Federation. And during all of last year the State of old Europe – first and foremost the Germans – thoughtfully explained to the aforementioned European Commission that it’s not the affair of the euro-commission, and that they won’t give a mandate to these commissioners concerning this, even purely theoretically.

I.e., if hypothetical negotiations between Ukraine and the European Commission take place, then it will indeed be a show that is rather harrowing, although epic in its own way, because it’s not often that it’s possible to see in project negotiations high parties that don’t have any relation to the project and don’t possess any powers concerning it.

No, there are no doubts here that Brussels and Kiev would find “common ground”, and could even, probably, having jointly entered these negotiations, develop the text of a final statement of tremendous force.

But we are just afraid that the European commission doesn’t hate itself to such an extent that it will adopt something that “doesn’t have legal force”. Because the European bureaucrats already did what they could: the head of the Directorate-General for Energy Dominique Ristori already reported that the European government doesn’t support the project, because this isn’t such a good project from the point of view of European values, it doesn’t promote the diversification of deliveries, and so on.

And with this the proverbial debt to the US (well, and Ukraine at the same time) was paid off. And this same European Commissioner hastily added that, despite disagreeing with the determination of European States to construct this “stream”, no measures and sanctions concerning the gas pipeline will be applied.

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I.e., the European Commission doesn’t at all need to be openly mocked.

But what is obvious for European officials is unlikely to be obvious for the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. There they for some reason are still sure that with the “strengthening of US sanctions, and also the inclusion in the EU’s Third Energy Package of demands for the compliance of third-party countries with the rules of the EU gas market” must become effective measures to counter the attempts of the Russian side to realise the “Nord Stream-2” project.

And this is despite the medical fact that the gas pipeline project is far from being only “Russian” – it’s already rather “German”, and that the official recognition by the EU legal commission of the inadmissibility of the implementation of the “demands of the Third Energy Package” to the offshore sections of “Nord Stream-2” were officially documented. And “Nord Stream-2” isn’t included in that “sanctions package” of the American congress that the American President Donald Trump has the right to apply. It simply doesn’t fall under the terms.

All of this gives rise to suspicions that even the appeals of the current Kiev leadership to the outside world are in practice a tool that it uses to draw an alternative reality for the internal audience.

In this alternative reality it fights against the eastern aggressor [Russia – ed] and regularly defeats it. And what thus actually takes place in Kiev, seemingly, already ceased to concern anyone.

This is a sad symptom, but only for Ukraine.

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