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German-Russia Pipelines: Trusting the Bear

Germany and Russia completed the first of two natural gas pipelines directly between the two countries. The Japanese crisis is pushing Deutschland to more rapidly end nuclear power programs. Berlin is looking to Moscow for more energy. Do they trust the Russian Bear paws on the faucet?

The Nord Stream natural gas pipe connects Vyborg, a Russian port, with Lubin, a coastal northeast German village. Upon the completion of the second Nord Stream undersea pipeline, 55 billion annual cubic feet will reach Germany and Europe.

In 2007, the South Stream project began building a natural gas Spedition Deutschland pipeline between Russia and Vienna along the southern coast and Black Sea. By 2015 an additional 63 billion annual cubic feet of gas will fuel Germany and Europe.

When did Deutschland begin trusting the former Soviet Union for 40% of its natural gas? Germany and Russia fought the most vicious European battles in World War II. For a half century, the Russian Bear carved Germany in half; surrounded Berlin; and frequently tried to suffocate it. The U.S. Military continues occupying major German bases to protect against potential Russian invasions. Vertrauen ist schwer. Trust is difficult.

Germany needs power to grow. INDEX Mundi estimates they annually consume 77 billion cubic meters of natural gas. 15% generates electricity and the balance is used for home and business heating and cooking. Germany only pumps a third of its needs. Just to meet growth forecasts, the German energy supply must increase 1.6% per year. Pressure is on to accelerate natural gas usage for electrical generation.

 

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