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Germany to help pay for Russian pipeline despite accepting NATO defense against Russia

Russia's ground-breaking ceremony for the South Stream gas pipeline project. December 7, 2012. (en.Kremlin.ru)
July 18, 2018

Germany has given support to Russia’s plans to build an $11 billion natural gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea, called Nord Stream 2.

The proposed pipeline will enter in Ust-Luga, Russia, and exit in Greifswald, Germany, for a total of 1,200 kilometers, or about 745 miles. It will have an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas, and is expected to be operational before late next year, CNBC recently reported.

The pipeline is said to “ensure a highly reliable supply of Russian gas to Europe” at a crucial time when “Europe sees a decline in domestic natural gas production and an increasing demand for imported gas.” Germany has been focusing its efforts on renewable energy instead of natural gas production.

However, the deal is inconsistent with NATO protections for Germany and other European nations against Russian aggression.

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President Trump recently criticized the deal and Germany’s apparent contradiction – saying one thing and doing another – while at the NATO summit in Brussels.

“We’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” he said.

“We’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia,” Trump continued.

“So we’re supposed to protect you against Russia and you pay billions of dollars to Russia, and I think that’s very inappropriate,” he added.

Without the pipeline, Germany relied on Russia for more than half its natural gas imports last year.

“Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they are getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline,” Trump said.

Germany had become “a captive to Russia,” he added.

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The pipeline would likely increase Europe’s dependency on Russia for natural gas.

Trump isn’t the only one criticizing the deal, however.

Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are among other countries opposing the pipeline. The nations oppose any money given to Russia after it annexed Crimea in 2014, and carried out destabilization efforts toward the European Union.

Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush also opposed the Nord Stream 2 and Nord Stream pipelines over concerns of increasing Russian influence over Europe.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said earlier this year: “We advocate for a strong, independent, self-sufficient energy future for Ukraine. One that is not dependent on Russia and subject to being an instrument of Russian aggression. We are against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for that very reason, which would for the European continent undermine our goals of energy diversification and energy independence but at least as significantly it would undermine Ukraine.”

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also said earlier this year that the pipeline would allow Russia to wield energy like a “political tool,” thus “undermining Europe’s overall energy stability and security.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel insists the pipeline deal is a private deal not funded by taxpayers.

Five European energy companies will collectively provide 50 percent of the project’s total cost. German company Wintershall, the country’s largest oil and natural gas producer, is one of the supporting companies.

Trump called on Germany and other nations to increase their NATO spending “immediately.”