Staunton, July 31 – Earlier this week, former Danish foreign minister Uffe Elleman-Jensen suggested that the EU should take steps to make the Nordstream-2 project, which is close to completion “a Pyrrhic victory” for Moscow by constructing a pipeline from Norway to supply Poland and refusing to make use of Nordstream-2 for its needs.
The influential Danish diplomat made that argument in Copenhagen’s Berlingske newspaper (berlingske.dk/kommentatorer/hvis-trump-havde-foretaget-samme-traek-som-biden-netop-har-ville-vi). It has sparked discussions in various European capitals and now has generated a reaction in Moscow.
There, two Russian experts, Aleksandr Frolov of the National Energy Institute and Igor Yushkov of the National Energy Security Foundation, are dismissive of Ellemann-Jensen’s proposal, seeing it as at most an effort to attract attention and saying that there is no chance it will be realized (svpressa.ru/economy/article/305683/).
Frolov points out that Ellemann-Jensen is a former minister and thus is speaking only for himself and not the Danish government. Moreover, he says, there is no chance that Copenhagen, even it accepted his ideas, would be able to attract support now for a new pipeline from Norway or agree to not allowing the Russian pipeline to work at more than 50 percent capacity.
And Yushkov adds that in his view, Ellemann-Jensen is simply following the American effort to present Russia as an aggressor so that Europe will not reach agreements with Moscow on a variety of issues. According to Yushkov, Russia isn’t an aggressor and isn’t using gas as a weapon to advance its geopolitical interests.
Most EU countries will continue to use Russian gas rather than seek an alternative from Norway or in LNG shipments from the United States, he says. The reason is simple: Russian gas is cheaper, and the Europeans will not want to compromise their own economies by paying more to American firms.
They’ve already been burned, Yushkov says, as a result of the money they’ve invested in LNG shipping terminals. They aren’t going to allow themselves to be misled again.