Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Russia-Germany gas pipeline raises intelligence concerns

Russia-Germany gas pipeline raises intelligence concerns

ClientEarth said it has submitted a complaint to a Finnish court to stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline through the country.

"That means that any pipeline project, and there are multiple pipeline projects in the world that are potentially covered, is at an elevated sanctions risk", Bloomberg cited Oudkirk as saying. "We would be delighted if the project did not take place".

In addition, USA intelligence is concerned about the construction of the pipeline "Nord stream-2" from the Russian Federation to Germany, as it would allow Russian security services to accommodate the new technologies of listening and monitoring in the Baltic sea.

The US push came a day before Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks that will touch on Nord Stream 2, as well as the US decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

Russia's Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, and other Western firms involved in building the pipeline started preparatory work off Germany's Baltic coast this week, and German factories are already churning out thousands of steel pipes to use in the undersea network.

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US President Donald Trump plans to promote US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports at a meeting next Thursday (6 July) in Warsaw with a dozen leaders from Central and Eastern Europe, a region heavily reliant on Russian supplies.

Oudkirk said Russian Federation could use the project to place monitoring and listening devices for surveillance under the Baltic Sea, which increases the risk of the pipeline from an intelligence and security point of view. "We're neutral on the means of conveyance", Oudkirk said, noting that Europe could get gas from the Caspian Sea, Eastern Mediterranean, Algeria and, eventually, the U.S. and Australia, reducing its dependence on Russian energy sources.

In addition, the United States has threatened to sanction European companies that help build the pipeline.

"Germany is not doing anything against the interests of Ukraine".

The US threats to Nord Stream 2, which has split eastern and western European Union states, could impact companies in Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

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