German and French leaders took part in a virtual meeting on security policy and cooperation. Angela Merkel noted the importance of the gas pipeline for her country, which will soon complete the transition from coal and nuclear energy to renewable sources.
Germany has set ambitious emissions-cutting goals that involve the closure of all coal-fired plants as well as nuclear plants. As a result, its reliance on natural gas has increased, and it needs cheap supplies to keep the lights on.
German Chancellor stressed dirung the meeting that it is important to keep a channel open for discussions with Russia, given that it was a key player on many geopolitical issues.
• Despite deep-reaching differences, it is nevertheless strategically advisable to stay in talks with Russia
• The position on Nord Stream 2 is not affected by this for the time being; this is a project on which you know the position of the federal government
French President Emmanuel Macron supported the position of Angela Merkel on the Nord Stream 2 project.
• I believe that nothing can be said about Nord Stream 2, which is now almost complete, without close coordination between Germany and France
• We will continue to work together to develop a European energy strategy that is more sovereign and also takes climate issues into account, and to have a strategic exchange with Russia, where we are also ambitious when it comes to energy
Despite the criticism of the project, Paris does not take a tough position on the Nord Stream 2. The French energy company Engie is also one of the sponsors of the $11.6 billion project.
White House outlined in January President Biden’s negative attitude about the Nord Stream 2 gas project. Biden has also opposed Nord Stream 2 in the past. The U.S. claims that Nord Stream-2 will deepen Europe’s reliance on Russian gas, giving Moscow greater influence in the political affairs of the continent.
An independent Norwegian consulting company Rystad Energy analysed that importing additional volumes of Russian pipeline gas through Nord Stream 2 would be the most reliable and cheapest option to meet the growing gas demand in Germany, compared to either LNG supplies from the USA, or to imports through other intra-Europe pipeline routes.
Construction work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was restarted on February 6. In this case, we are talking about the resumption of pipe laying in the waters of Denmark.