Pipeline express from Russia to Germany 10 replies

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Relander

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8th April 2005

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#1 10 years ago

Nord Stream or the Baltic Sea gas pipeline from Russia to Germany has been a highly controversial topic due to environmental and national security concerns, especially in the minds of Swedish, Polish, Baltic and US officials. However German and Russian officials don't see any problem while the Finnish government has taken a cautious pro-environment stance.

Are you worried about the gas pipeline, does it form a real risk, even a threat for the Baltic Sea and its countries?

Is Europe too dependent on Russian energy nowadays? Discuss.




emonkies

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#2 10 years ago

I am not as concerned with a gas pipeline as I would be with a oil pipeline for enviromental reasons.

Are people worried this will give Russia too much sway in Germany's politics or economy?

IIRC Germany doesnt have much in the way of energy sources other than coal and hydro-electric. I suppposed they have to get energy where they can and if the price is right there would probably be few countries who would turn it down.

I can see a potential problem of Russia trying to leverage German politics and threatening to cut off coutries that dont agree with it, havent they threatened to do this already in the past?




Relander

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#3 10 years ago
Anlushac11I can see a potential problem of Russia trying to leverage German politics and threatening to cut off coutries that dont agree with it, havent they threatened to do this already in the past?

Well Russia has threatened Ukraine and Georgia but as fas as I know it hasn't threatened Germany or other EU countries in any way. However there's a risk for this if many serious disagreements arise with the EU or other European major powers, for example about Russia's WTO membership, timber tariffs for Finnish forest companies, Russia trying to divide EU countries in their foreign policies or especially if Ukraine or Georgia join the NATO in the near future.

The gas pipeline doesn't concern me from national security point of view but I'm somewhat concerned about the environmental effects if necessary environment effect surveys aren't made properly and taken into account. The Baltic Sea is already so fragile that it cannot last even a small environmental crisis.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#4 10 years ago

Relying on imports from foreign powers, as opposed to simply using them out of convenience sake, has always been a mistake. It gives the country providing the resources far too great an input into your economy and by extension into politics and foreign policy. I would prefer for European countries to move more rapidly towards energy independence from Russia than increase it.




masked_marsoe VIP Member

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#5 10 years ago

NemmerleI would prefer for European countries to move more rapidly towards energy independence from Russia than increase it.[/QUOTE]Indeed, that would seem sensible, but lots of natural gas on hand given existing infrastructure is the easy way out.

[QUOTE=Relander]Well Russia has threatened Ukraine and Georgia but as fas as I know it hasn't threatened Germany or other EU countries in any way.

Perhaps not as blunt as what Russia has done to Ukraine, but pressure could very easily be done by threatening price increases, or supply reductions. Claim it as "unforeseen maintenance", and leave ordinary Germans in the cold, or out-of-pocket. That could be a powerful force on a Chancellor, and easily manipulated in domestic politics in Russia's favour.

As for environmental issues, an undersea pipeline is always a risk, but the bottom of the Baltic is particularly bad, there may be all sorts of chemical deposits dumped by the Soviets waiting to be stirred up. That would have a big effect on the Baltic states', Finnish, Swedish, and Polish beaches and fisheries. An overland solution; (through the Baltic states or Belarus, and Poland, may be more practicable and safer.




Zipacna

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#6 10 years ago

Nemmerle;4399832Relying on imports from foreign powers, as opposed to simply using them out of convenience sake, has always been a mistake. It gives the country providing the resources far too great an input into your economy and by extension into politics and foreign policy. I would prefer for European countries to move more rapidly towards energy independence from Russia than increase it.[/quote]

The problem is: How do you become independent from a country when that country has something you definitely need? And please, nobody start with "clean energy"... By the way, Russia will never have a great power concerning the policy or Germany or the EU. We do not need the gas although it is cheaper to get it from Russia.

Anlushac11;4397340IIRC Germany doesnt have much in the way of energy sources other than coal and hydro-electric.

We stop mining coal rapidly. The stuff from the USA, Japan and China is much cheaper and there is a lot more of it. [quote=Anlushac11;4397340]I can see a potential problem of Russia trying to leverage German politics and threatening to cut off coutries that dont agree with it, havent they threatened to do this already in the past?

Yes, they have. But they did not do it though. When they cut off the Ukraine from the pipeline, there was immense pressure from some EU countries on Russia. (well, okay we had still enough for several months but hey)

About the threat to the environment: Really, do not think that I take this too easy, but I do not think that wil be a big problem. I mean, what do you expect to happen? I can think of no scenario where any damage could be inflicted on the environment, already unstable or not.


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Huffardo

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#7 10 years ago
DarthZipacna;4401341 About the threat to the environment: Really, do not think that I take this too easy, but I do not think that wil be a big problem. I mean, what do you expect to happen? I can think of no scenario where any damage could be inflicted on the environment, already unstable or not.

What about somebody laying down a huge pipe on the bottom of the Baltic Sea, couldn't the disturbance of the already very damaged sea bottom, potentially full with dangerous stuff dumped there during modern times, cause rather significant damage to the environment? I don't know if you have ever seen the Baltic Sea and the condition it already is in, but just look at a map and guess why it might be an extremely vulnerable area.

I would rather have the pipe built on land, but since that is quite impossible due to the way relations are between the countries that would be involved I would choose the pipe instead of an unknown amount of ships sinking in the same waters.




Zipacna

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#8 10 years ago

Huffardo;4401518What about somebody laying down a huge pipe on the bottom of the Baltic Sea, couldn't the disturbance of the already very damaged sea bottom, potentially full with dangerous stuff dumped there during modern times, cause rather significant damage to the environment? I don't know if you have ever seen the Baltic Sea and the condition it already is in, but just look at a map and guess why it might be an extremely vulnerable area.

I would rather have the pipe built on land, but since that is quite impossible due to the way relations are between the countries that would be involved I would choose the pipe instead of an unknown amount of ships sinking in the same waters.

I know about those problems but they are not caused by any pipelines on the ground but by different nations (I won't name them but I think everyone knows which ones I mean) pumping tons and tons of their chemical waste into the water. If you are concerned about the sea life there, stop criticising pipelines and start criticising the environmental standards for the factories!


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Huffardo

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#9 10 years ago
DarthZipacna;4407050I know about those problems but they are not caused by any pipelines on the ground[/QUOTE] I hope you realize the pipeline isn't going to be built on ground, but on the sea bottom? [QUOTE=DarthZipacna;4407050]but by different nations (I won't name them but I think everyone knows which ones I mean) pumping tons and tons of their chemical waste into the water. If you are concerned about the sea life there, stop criticising pipelines and start criticising the environmental standards for the factories!

How do the two exclude each other? St Petersburg still lets out huge amounts of sewage without any filtering, but I doubt that makes damaging the sea bottom by building a pipeline any more environmentally friendly.




Mihail VIP Member

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#10 10 years ago
Well Russia has threatened Ukraine and Georgia

How so? as these states start becoming more western, we decided they should now pay western cost of the gas, for years, we gave them gas at discount which we lost billions from, one which they were paying less then one half of that of Germany was paying.

It's not as if these states cannot pay for it, they merely don't want to pay for it.




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