The key to the Russian gas pipeline “Nord stream – 2”, seems to have overcome another obstacle. Sweden has approved the use of one of its ports with 2 Nord Stream AG, which is engaged in pipe-laying. What is the change in the position of Stockholm, which previously banned Gazprom’s access to another port?
The Swedish government represented by the Minister of foreign Affairs Margot wallström agreed to Nord Stream AG 2 used the port of Karlshamn in the South of the country during the laying of the pipeline “Nord stream – 2”. Earlier the Cabinet is not recommended that local authorities give permission, Recalling the report of the Ministry of defense, and stating that construction of the pipeline supposedly “represents a threat to national security”. Now, according to the head of the foreign Ministry, the use of the port “does not threaten the interests of security thanks to the government’s measures.”
“The arrival of the Russians means good contribution to the economy of the city. And in spite of the grandmother ears to freeze no one here is going”
However, the final decision rests with local authorities. As of today, January 31, they have to tell, whether allow to use the port during the laying of the pipeline. But it’s more a formality. The fact that the authorities of the municipality of Karlshamn initially were not against the blame on their opportunity to become part of the pipeline project, because it is in their interest. The city should lease the seaport for the needs of builders for the construction of “Nord stream – 2”. The project Gazprom will create new jobs and make a profit in the amount of 100 million kroons (11,24 million dollars). It can be argued that the issue with Sweden for the “Nord stream – 2” is essentially solved.
Initially, Gazprom expected to hire in Sweden with the purpose of transshipment of pipes and equipment not one, but two ports. Authorities first of these, the port of Slite, which is located on the island of Gotland, at first wanted to cooperate with Nord Stream AG 2, but then abruptly changed their plans. Reportedly Swedish media, Gotland officials were forced to do it in a voluntary-compulsory order. The Ministry of defence of Sweden rests on the fact that the cooperation with the company may undermine the country’s defense, and the harbour of Slite is of strategic importance.
“The information we received, it became crucial for us. We in the region are unable to assess the situation, as does the Ministry of foreign Affairs and the Ministry of defense, so naturally, we should modify the opinion in accordance with their opinion. We were disappointed: we are talking about jobs, revenues for hotels and trade in the slit”, – regretfully concluded the head of the local technical Committee Gardel. According to conservative estimates, Gotland could be obtained only from the rent of 60 million Swedish kronor.
However, for the “Nord stream – 2” will be enough and one port. “I don’t think that the presence of one and not the two ports in Sweden greatly complicate the construction of the pipe”, – says the General Director of the national energy security Fund Konstantin Simonov. By the way, during the construction of the “Nord stream – 1” no problem with ports was not.
Against Nord Stream AG 2 this time opened a real information war, based on long-standing fears of the Swedes about the “Russian threat”. The General Director of the national energy security Fund recalls that when he said the first Nord stream, the Swedish Parliament, representatives of several political parties also seriously claimed that the equipment for laying pipes may be used for the landing of the Russian troops.
Such a hysterical attitude towards Russian projects has its implications. “Even during the cold war actively suggested that Soviet submarines go in Swedish waters, “the Russians are coming”. There is even processdialogkey the version that the US threw its allies in Europe about data on Soviet submarines to keep them in good shape. Either these boats and organized,” – says Konstantin Simonov. The socialist government of Sweden then more loyal to the USSR, and the US didn’t like it.
“Some in Sweden and now seeing Russian submarines and troops. And after Russia has demonstrated its military capabilities in Syria, the paranoia increased significantly”, – explains the situation to Simon.
This time the propaganda has reached even the Royal Academy of military Sciences of Sweden. Its experts some time ago published a detailed forecast of how the Russian troops “capture Sweden”. And in the center of “Russian aggression” means the port of Slite on Gotland island. According to the scenario, it all starts with the fact that in the evening 60 disguised Russian special forces under the pretext of repair of the gas pipeline “Nord stream” landed on Gotland. Behind them, the landing ships of the Russian Navy landed on the island the Marines and a battalion of airborne. Further, according to this document, Russian post on the island of s-400 anti-ship missile complexes “Iskander-M”.
Under such a propaganda pressure of Gotland surrendered by denying Gazprom in the lease of the port. The failure of Gotland is a victory for the part of the Swedish elite, which is prone to panic attacks, says Simonov. But the consent of the Ministry of foreign Affairs and local authorities Karlshamn on renting port – a victory for a pragmatic approach another part of the Swedish elite, is not subject to the anti-Russian propaganda.
You should give credit to the fact that the system of government in Sweden is clearly decentralized. “Even if in the Swedish Parliament sat the paranoids, who see Russian troops and submarines, they can compel all municipalities to think the same way, – says Simonov. – In addition, the municipalities consider the money better than the Federal government. And the arrival of the Russians means good contribution to the economy of the city. And in spite of the grandmother ears to freeze no one here is going”.
Also, we cannot exclude that the change in the Swedish position associated with the change in US foreign policy.
The fact that, as during the cold war, in 2016, the anti-Russian sentiment in Sweden fueled the United States. In August last year, Vice President Biden tried to convince Sweden to refuse to issue permits for the construction of the Russian pipeline in its waters. The position of Sweden for the “Nord stream – 2” is extremely important, as the marine portion of the pipeline passes in close proximity to its shores, to change the route would be extremely difficult. It is therefore important that Sweden, under US pressure, did not become an obstacle for the implementation of the project. A decision is expected this year. The same resolution should give also Finland and Denmark, but with similar problems is not expected.
“I do not exclude that the American factor could affect these decisions, – confirms the head of the NESF. – Europe will become more independent in their decisions. To rely on the help of Americans do not have, including the mythical American LNG. And when Europe realizes that she has to build relations with Russia, it is more pragmatic and less hysterical. And the European citizens demand from the government more businesslike approach.”
This gives hope that there are no problems with obtaining permission for the construction of “Nord stream – 2” in Swedish waters will not be. As it was not them and receiving permission for construction of the first pipe. Besides the legal grounds for refusal of Gazprom from the Swedes just yet. “Sweden, thank God, not Poland, they need a real reason for refusal, and not a paranoid tale about the Russian troops,” concludes Simon.