Please read this piece by my colleague Paul Roderick Gregory published by Forbes
Trying to figure whither Nord Stream 2 (hereafter NS2) – the undersea gas pipeline from Russia to Germany – is akin to solving five complicated jigsaw puzzles at once. Competing interests, changing legal foundations, and momentum all make it difficult to either start or stop. One thing is certain: Russia is playing a long game from which it will not retreat until NS2 becomes operational.
At 95% complete and 11 billion Euros out of pocket, the NS2 consortium, comprised of Russia’s state-owned natural gas monopoly (Gazprom) and German, Austrian, and Dutch utility giants, seemed poised to enter into service by early 2021. The Trump administration had already played its sanction card to the limit, and there were just a few regulatory issues to be ironed out.
That was before the “attempted murder” (to use Angela Merkel’s characterization) of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny on August 20 over East Siberian skies. The Navalny case, piled on top of Russian hacking of the German Bundestag and a blatant political assassination on the streets of Berlin, raised German voices in favor of stopping NS2.