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For Europe, Russian gas becomes thing of the past

China Daily | Updated: 2022-06-28 08:11

Volunteers stack protective sandbags at the entrance to a subway station in central Kyiv on Monday. SERGEY SUPINSKY/AFP

In a report published on Friday, Der Spiegel claimed that the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany may be considering restarting the Nord Stream 2 project.

As a matter of fact, what the German government is thinking about is only to "nationalize" the sections of the Nord Stream 2 projects that are located in the country and connect them with the liquid natural gas terminal of the Baltic Sea through which LNG from around the world flows to the European continent.

Although Germany is putting parts of the Nord Stream 2 project into use, it is clear that the natural gas will not be from Russia. That means the Nord Stream 2 project will not be what it was but a new natural gas project irrelevant to Russia.

Since it can become functional as soon as new natural gas sources are found, it is natural that the country should not want the project lying idle for long as Germany has invested heavily in it.

However passionate Russia may be about reviving the almost accomplished energy project, it should be seen that on its part at least, the German side is initiating a process to wean itself off its energy reliance on Russia. And once the process is finished, the Nord Stream 2 project will be completely consigned to history.

In view of the current environment, the vast majority of countries in Europe, with the exception of a very small number of countries such as Hungary, have begun to accept the "energy path dependence switch" as a fait accompli and are prepared to pay the necessary price for it.

Take Germany as an example, the government advocates energy conservation, and is considering restoring the use of lignite power generation at the cost of reserving its green energy revolution.

It is against this backdrop that the country is diverting to new sources of natural gas, which might be more expensive and less reliable than that from Russia.

Germany has already made its choice, and is determined to adapt to the new normal in which Russian gas is a thing of the past.

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