The Baltic Region

2019 Vol. 11 № 3

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Economic and geopolitical aspects of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

DOI
10.5922/2079-8555-2019-3-2
Pages
25-42

Abstract

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project (NS 2) along the bottom of the Baltic Sea is aimed to increase gas supply from Russia to Germany and other EU countries. It serves mutual economic interests: the predicted growth in gas demand in the EU markets and the need to strengthen the energy security of the EU. The implementation of the NS 2 project is complicated by the need to allow for the EU energy legislation and by the expanding influence of geopolitical factors on EU – Russia cooperation, including those stemming from the aggressive US energy diplomacy seeking to prevent the project from being successful and thus promoting the geopolitical interests of Washington. In this work, we aim to study the economic and geopolitical stances taken by the project’s supporters and opponents and to evaluate the prospects of NS 2. To this end, we carry out a factor analysis and employ the methods of economic, statistical and geopolitical analysis.We conclude that the project is high on the agenda of both EU-Russia economic relations and world politics. The project has good prospects despite counteraction from its geopolitical opponents. This is explained by it having a decided economic edge over alternative options for the EU. The launch of NS 2 may contribute both to providing the energy security of the EU and to easing the military tensions between NATO and Russia in the Baltic region. The need to ensure the reliable operation of gas supply infrastructure makes any military conflict in the region impossible.