Germany needs as many ways to purchase gas as possible, and thus the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline meets the country’s interests, Bavaria’s Minister President Markus Soder told the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview.
The politician noted that “US interest in their own gas sales in Europe” underlies the threat voiced by US Vice President Mike Pence during the Munich security conference over the purchases of energy resources.
“To pursue your own goals in economics is normal. However, it is unconvincing to link such interests to security issues”, Soder pointed out. “It is difficult to understand the US government when they call German cars a risk to national security, and then sits down at the same table as we do at NATO”, he added.
Soder noted that Germany is interested in all possible options for gas purchases especially after the country ditched peaceful nuclear development and coal. “Can’t understand, why the pipeline that comes from Russia via Ukraine, should be safer than a direct pipeline between Russian and Germany”, Bavaria’s minister president stated.
He went on to say that it is important to keep up a dialogue with all parties, including Russia. “When it comes to international politics, Moscow is not sitting at one table with the penalised. However, Russia has certainly played some role in relations with the West getting worse”, the politician said.
Speaking at the Munich security conference earlier this month, US Vice President Mike Pence addressed the country’s western allies, “commending European partners who’ve taken a strong stand against Nord Stream 2”, and warning them against “growing dependent on the East”.
The Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture between Russia’s Gazprom, Engie of France, OMV of Austria, the Anglo-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell, as well as the German companies Uniper and Wintershall.
The project, which has created 30,000 jobs in Europe, according to the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce, is expected to deliver 55 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas per year to the European Union via the Baltic Sea, circumventing Ukraine.
Washington has been vigorously opposing the project citing Germany’s overreliance on Russian energy, and hence the Russian-led gas pipeline that is to be built in the Baltic Sea. US President Donald Trump has accused Germany of being a “captive” of Russia and urged it to stop cooperation on the $11 billion venture.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced the belief that US President Donald Trump was seeking to force Russia out of the European energy market so that the United States could sell more liquefied natural gas to Europe. Moscow has also reiterated that the pipeline is a purely commercial project.