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German ex-chancellor sees ‘too much ideology’ around Nord Stream 2

Additional gas delivery route is necessary for Germany due to its plans to phase out nuclear and coal-based power generation, he said
Gerhard Schroder

BERLIN, February 5. /TASS/. Gerhard Schroder, who served as the chancellor of Germany in 1998-2005, believes that his country needs the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia, because otherwise it won’t be able to meet its energy demand during the period of transition from traditional energy sources to renewable ones.

"We already have Nord Stream 1, which transports 55 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia to [the northern German state of] Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. And we need the second line," he told the Phoenix TV channel, adding that this additional gas delivery route is necessary for Germany due to its plans to phase out nuclear and coal-based power generation.

"It is clear that we should place our bet on renewable sources. However, there won’t be enough of them in the foreseeable future to provide our economy with energy at an affordable price," he said. "During the period of transition, lasting 10, 20 or 30 years - no one can say for sure - we will be in need of gas, the only reasonable and environmentally pure traditional source of energy."

"And we need to ask ourselves: where are we going to take it?" the ex-chancellor continued.

In his opinion, Russian gas delivered via pipelines is the only reasonable way to get it. According to the former German leader, US gas produced by means of hydraulic fracturing is "more expensive and worse in terms of quality," as well as less environmentally friendly.

"It seems to me, that there is too much ideology here," he said, adding that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project should not be linked to the situation surrounding blogger Alexei Navalny. "Why a connection is drawn between issues that are not related to each other? What can be in common between Nord Stream 2 and the Navalny case?" he asked rhetorically, describing this approach as a mistake.

The Nord Stream 2 project contemplates construction of two gas pipeline strings with the total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters per year from the Russian coast to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The gas pipeline is 94% complete to date. After the incident with Russian blogger Navalny, a number of German politicians demanded to halt implementation of the project.