German mayors want Nord Stream 2 opened
Leaders of Germany’s largest island demand Berlin rethink Russia policy
Berlin’s policy of trying to give up imports of Russian natural gas is likely to create hardship and spark unrest, seven mayors from the German island of Ruegen wrote in a letter sent to the regional and federal governments on Wednesday. They also urged the federal government to allow gas imports via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, given the current technical difficulties with Nord Stream 1 – something Berlin has steadfastly rejected.
In the letter addressed to federal economy minister Robert Habeck and Manuela Schwesig, prime minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the mayors “strongly condemn”The current conflict in Ukraine, but ask the government for consideration of the economic and social consequences. According to DPA’s news agency,
“We are of the opinion that the path taken by the federal government to disconnect from Russian energy sources is not the right one,”The seven mayors signed the letter. Initially drafted by the leaders of Bergen, Binz and Sassnitz, the letter was later signed by four more jurisdictions on Ruegen, Germany’s largest island and a popular tourist destination.
German media reported that the Russian imports of gas would cause a dramatic rise in the price of living. This could lead to instability and unrest which can get out of hand. Calls from the federal government to save energy – such as showering less and foregoing hot water – “defy understanding,”They added.
“As the mayors of this island, we don’t want to have to accept any further restrictions,” Sassnitz city manager Frank Kracht told the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern affiliate of the TV station NDR.
Mayors opposed the expansion of wind turbines in residential areas. They called them dangerous and rejected the proposal. “a general rethinking of the solution to the current problems in relations with Russia.”
They suggested that natural gas could be transported via Nord Stream 2 to obtain additional supplies. Finished in late 2021, the pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea was just waiting for the operating permit from Berlin – which was suspended indefinitely on February 22, two days before Russia sent troops into Ukraine.
NS2 was supposed to double the volume of Russian gas exports, but was delayed by US sanctions seeking to protect Ukraine’s gas transit earnings. Nord Stream 1, the gas pipeline that supplies Germany, continues to operate at 20% capacity due to ongoing maintenance. Gazprom is the operator of Nord Stream 1. It says that several turbines at Portovaya’s compressor station require maintenance to keep certification. Canada held it up citing anti Russian sanctions related to the conflict in Ukraine. Berlin applied for an exemption. NS2 doesn’t use Siemens turbines and is therefore able to be kept in place regardless of sanctions.
Berlin, however, has not even considered the possibility of using NS2. Habeck, Economy Minister has stated that the pipe cannot be used without certification. He accused Russian President Vladimir Putin, of trying to undermine EU solidarity with Ukraine through driving up gas prices.
“Putin has the gas, but we have the power,”Habeck appealed Tuesday to Germans for unity.
Recent polls show widespread pessimism within the German industrial sector regarding future business prospects. Annalena Baerbock, the Foreign Minister of Germany, commented on last week’s turbine delays. She said that gas shortages might lead to an uprising.
“If we don’t get the gas turbine, then we won’t get any more gas, and then we won’t be able to provide any support for Ukraine at all, because then we’ll be busy with popular uprisings,”RND, she said. Baerbock added that it may have been “exaggerated”He maintained that the majority of Germans supported sending weapons into Ukraine.