The US fight against the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has become one of the symbols of Donald Trump's presidency. However, his ardent opponent Joe Biden was proclaimed the winner in the last elections, with the possible arrival of which to the White House they pin some hopes for a change in the American position on this energy project. How justified is this?
The construction of the offshore pipeline was frozen almost a year ago after President Trump signed new anti-Russian sanctions as part of the US defense budget. The Swiss contractor instantly “reeled up the rods” and took his pipe-laying vessels out of harm's way. President Putin promised to complete the construction of the gas pipeline on his own, for which the "Academician Chersky" was brought from the Far East, but the load, alas, is still there. The vessel cannot operate in Danish waters without international insurance, and further expansion of American sanctions against the German side will make operation completely impossible.
The mixed results of the US elections have given occasion to perk up in Berlin. The increasingly popular Alternative for Germany party came out in the Bundestag with a proposal to support Nord Stream 2, up to and including the completion of the pipeline by German companies. The German energy company Uniper has paused the construction of another LNG terminal, which was actively lobbied by Donald Trump. The announced reason was a decrease in gas demand, but perhaps this was not the only motive. The French company Engie did the same, postponing the signing of a $ 7 billion contract for the import of American LNG.
It can be assumed that during the political crisis in the United States, Berlin and Paris thus indicate their positions in the future bargaining. Say, if Trump does leave, then finally in December he will not impose the toughest sanctions against Nord Stream 2, and the incoming Joe Biden will not start with exacerbating relations with the leading countries of the European Union. There is indeed some logic in this, but this is not the whole truth.
And the truth is that both Republicans and Democrats in the US are opposed to Russia's close energy cooperation with Europe. If Donald Trump imposed expensive American LNG on the Old World in order to support his exporters and reduce the competitiveness of European companies, then Joe Biden proclaimed a course towards transition to renewable energy sources as part of the campaign to combat climate change. A specific program called the Clean Energy Revolution has been created with a potential budget of $ 1,7 trillion.
What is happening in the United States is being closely watched in the European Union. So, the other day in the German edition of Bild published an article by Julian Repke, who, with reference to his sources in the camp of the Democratic Party, claims that under Joe Biden, Russia should prepare for the "funeral" of Nord Stream 2. Alan Riley, an American energy security expert, says in the same vein, who believes that the United States, through new sanctions, will obscure the construction of the pipeline by Gazprom itself, leading to its collapse. In return, Joe Biden's team will offer Berlin a "comprehensive security package" that will include some renewable energy instead of Russian gas.
If Bild's information turns out to be correct, then it turns out that both Republicans and Democrats are “not equally useful” for Nord Stream 2. Time will tell whether it is true or not.