The pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany, could provide enough energy to heat 26 million German homes. MPs Emily Thornberry and Bob Seely appeared on Robert Peston’s show on Wednesday to discuss the $11 billion gas pipeline, whose strategic positioning could cause problems for the West in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. There are fears this will give Moscow added powers in Europe, where energy prices have continued to rise.
Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury Ms Thornberry addressed the conflicted position of Germany in this situation and the “big debate” over Nord Stream 2.
She said: “On the one hand they have their concerns about what it means in terms of the international standing of Germany and the influence that there might be, and on the other hand the need to have cheap energy.”
Mr Seely, Tory MP for the Isle of Wight, added: “It should never have been built.
“It is designed for one reason and one reason only, so that Russia can supply gas directly to Germany, have an incredibly powerful relationship with the German business community and effectively bypass Ukraine so that they can hold Ukraine to even greater ransom.”
Mr Seely also expressed concern that the tension between Russia and Ukraine “is going to run for weeks if not months if not years”.
By bypassing Ukraine, Russia will not have to pay the Ukrainian government the $2 billion transit fees it currently needs to export its gas through Ukrainian territory.
German regulators have not yet issued the final legal permission that is needed for Nord Stream 2 to begin operating.
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A bill proposed to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 ultimately failed to get through the Senate on January 13.
However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hinted that he has not ruled out the possibility of sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.
Mr Scholz said: “It is clear that there will be a high cost and that all this will have to be discussed if there is a military intervention against Ukraine.”