Nord Stream 2 has made Germany the most influential EU nation that no one is allowed to criticize

22.04.2021 Off By Editor
Nord Stream 2 has made Germany the most influential EU nation that no one is allowed to criticize

 As the conclusion of the Nord Stream 2 project approaches, clashes have started appearing in the media. Several media outlets have published information on the true goals of the Russian-German project. While a part of the public is 100% certain that the project is the Kremlin’s tool of influence, others have rushed to defend it saying that Nord Stream 2 has only economic intentions that will help Germany in ensuring long-term stability.

As much as I would like to believe the positive scenario, facts suggest otherwise. Aside from the Kremlin acquiring greater control of Germany’s energy sphere and its policies, Russia’s influence will also permeate other EU countries.

Despite EU nations being sovereign and able to make their own decisions based on the needs of their citizens, there are some issues that affect other countries. One of such issues is the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as it allows the Kremlin to take part not only in Germany’s energy policies, but the energy policies of the entire Europe, giving Russia some amount of influence on different energy matters.

The Kremlin’s propaganda has already started showing signs of increasing influence. In early March, the Kremlin’s lie agency Sputnik published an opinion by Russian political expert Aleksandr Nosovich (Александр Носович) stating that Lithuania should hold back from criticizing Nord Stream 2, since it receives economic support from Germany.

He argued that the statement made by Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonite that Nord Stream 2 is linked with the Kremlin’s geopolitical influence in Europe, as well as the dependence of some EU countries from Russia, is ridiculous and that Lithuania is punching above its weight. He expressed that the influence of Lithuania in the EU is minuscule, while Germany is a powerhouse. He explained that Simonite’s opinion means nothing and was said only to give the impression that Lithuania somehow matters to the EU, when in reality Lithuania is so irrelevant that it’s unable to influence any EU decision. He also added that because Lithuania receives economic support from Germany via different EU funds, it has no right to criticize anyone.

Nosovich indirectly stated that no other EU member is as influential as Germany, which in turn indirectly asserts that the cooperation between Russian and Germany will increase Russia’s influence on Europe’s energy issues.

These and similar harsh statements are nothing new coming from the Kremlin’s disinformation agents. However, the Kremlin keeps denying that it’s attempting to influence the EU’s political agenda or stability. But past events prove the opposite.

In 2009, Russia cut off all gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine which left more than a dozen countries without heating in the middle of December. This had consequences for the entire continent. Some countries with significant gas reserves were able to pass the winter without problem, but others were left with no central heating and other resources that depended on gas deliveries. Despite Germany having notable gas reserves, it still endured difficult moments, but it seems that now no one dares to talk about this incident.

The political foundations of several European countries have been now replaced by a principle of double standards.

German authorities passionately insist that Russia has no intention of ceasing or decreasing gas deliveries, therefore it has no influence – after all, it’s just a pipeline at the bottom of the sea. However, no one is talking about this being a powerful tool of influence for the Kremlin.

Just as no one expected the annexation of Crimea or military intervention in Georgia along with other unexpected “we will never do this again” incidents. The only difference is that in the case of Nord Stream 2 it will not be just Germany or Berlin that will suffer – a large part of Europe will feel negative consequences. Similar to the psychological tests on choosing the lesser of two evils – would you kill a single person instead of five people if there was no other option? It seems that Germany has made its choice and went with the greater of two evils, i.e. to save itself (its economy) while throwing everyone else under the bus.

What concerns Lithuania and its influence, Nosovich’s statements are unfounded – the EU is a union of 27 countries that operates on the basis of different regulations, including the Treaty of Lisbon that stipulates that all member states are equal and engage in loyal cooperation.

All EU members contribute to the EU budget and the size of contributions is divided justly according to each member state’s resources. Moreover, Germany itself benefits from EU funds that are used to implement different projects. But the Kremlin’s disinformation crew doesn’t care for the fact that their statements are incorrect or misleading, the main narrative has already been spread – Germany is the most influential power in Europe and Russia currently is one of the main administrators of Germany’s resources.

Baiba Zile
independent Latvian journalist