Politics with Pipelines - Europe and Natural Gas
The negotiations are heading into the final round. At stake is an energy lifeline for Europe - and the power it implies. Over the coming months in Brussels and Berlin, Moscow and Washington, the decision will be made on whether or not a European consortium led by Russian state natural gas company Gazprom is to lay another pipeline on the Baltic seabed.
The Nord Stream 2 project is highly controversial. This documentary lets both supporters and opponents have their say. The carbon steel pipes bearing the name Nord Stream 2 are projected to cost 10 billion euros and run from Vyborg, Russia, to Lubmin, Germany. This route could soon be carrying the greater share of Russia's natural gas exports to the European Union. The project already carries its share of opposition: Poland, Slovakia and the Baltic republics eye a direct German-Russian connection with concern - mindful of hundreds of millions of euros in transport fees they stand to lose. And Ukraine sees itself at the mercy of Russian interests, should the West no longer have need of it as an energy corridor. The United States, with liquefied petroleum gas of its own to sell, has been threatening more sanctions. The pipeline's opponents in the EU are doing what they can to hinder its construction and tie it up in the courts with legal maneuvering. Government spokespeople in Berlin and Moscow insist the project has only private business motives, those being to guarantee the supply of natural gas and keep the prices low. Supporters and opponents agree on one thing: Nord Stream 2 would alter Europe's energy politics for decades to come, which would in turn affect geo-politics. Energy issues are always questions of power. Russia's leadership is well aware of that, as they've repeatedly demonstrated in the past. But in this round of the "Great Game", the Americans are joining in.
This documentary presents the pros and cons of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, now in the employ of Nord Stream, has been drumming up support. Opponents, such as the former Polish prime minister and current Member of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek, explain their positions. The documentary was shot on locations in Germany, France, Ukraine, Georgia and in Brussels and Moscow.