Augusto Manzanal Ciancaglini
Germany imports almost all of its gas and, since half of it comes from Russia, the facilities that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through the Baltic Sea will allow are eagerly awaited in Berlin. However, this growing relationship of convenience is causing misgivings in Poland and the Baltic countries, which point to dependence on Russia as a serious threat to the European Union’s energy security. Ukraine, for its part, points to the great economic damage that the new pipeline will cause it.
Combining geopolitical and economic reasons, the strongest opposition comes from the United States, as increasing its exports of liquefied natural gas to the European Union is a priority. Despite falling demand and prices, interest from potential customers augurs well for the long-term prospects of US LNG, whose advantage lies in its transportation.
At the same time, the United States is threatening to reduce its military presence in Germany and increase it in Eastern Europe. Such a unilateral decision would set the stage for the Germans and further corral the Russians: military compression as economic pressure and political impression. However, the role of a strange geopolitical foothold will remain for Germany; the warlike global aspirations and their result in the form of a double satellite have incubated this irreplaceable peaceful regional power of today.
Germany, if tied to the Solomonic wake of its recent history, will continue to heat up with Russian gas and could be tempered by the freshness of American LNG, even if the latter is more expensive. The dream of energy-independent security is not purely achievable: to travel through Mitteleuropa, Germany rests one arm in the east and the other in the west, but, as the enormous burden of history turns into surrounding distrust that makes it wobble, it must carefully measure each gentle step it takes; without boots there is not necessarily blinding.
An old rivalry between gas pipelines and methane tankers is still being accommodated in that uncomfortable actor halfway between fragmentation and empire. If the remnants of the bipolar world have dissolved into a liquid modernity, the name of today’s competition fits one of its weapons: the Cold War continues to liquefy.
© All rights reserved