German Social Democrat Manuela Schwesig, head of the government of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, one of the nation's 16 states, has called for more intense dialog with Russia and told off critics of the Russian-European joint venture Nord Stream 2 in her recent column for the German outlet Wirtschaftswoche.
“To ensure the sustainability that our industrial state requires, we need such fuel as natural gas. That’s why I think that building another pipeline is the right thing,” Mrs. Schwesig wrote in her article.
She also lashed out at those who criticized the project, stating that some of them didn’t play with “open cards.”
“Claims that the pipeline will make Germany fully dependent on Russia are nonsense at any rate. Both sides are interested in a reliable gas supply. Besides, Germany will need a fair share of its state energy requirements to be fulfilled by other sources from other regions,” she pointed out.
Mecklenburg-West Pomerania’s head of state also emphasized the critical importance of maintaining a dialog between Moscow and Berlin. While stating that she didn’t want to downplay that the relations between the two countries had become more difficult, she voiced her conviction of their mutual interest in returning to a closer dialog. To ensure this, she called on the German establishment to revise its sanction policy towards Russia.
“It’s clear that both sides must make some moves to remove them [sanctions], of course, Russia per se, too. However, I am surprised at the defensive reflexes, prompted and regularly triggered by the demands to gradually revise the sanctions. Punishment is no goal in itself. Our final goal should be their gradual retraction coupled with gradual restoring of peace in Ukraine," the politician pointed out.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture between Russia's gas giant Gazprom and five European companies. The goal of the project is to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas annually directly to the European Union across the Baltic Sea.
The United States, seeking to promote its liquefied natural gas in the European market, has made a number of attempts to impede the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project and has even incorporated a provision for counteracting the construction of the pipeline with possible sanctions.