EU dealt blow as Putin unveils new gas pipeline with China to ‘replace’ German flows

Putin ‘playing chicken’ with gas supplies as Russian economy Russia has announced the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the £8billion project set to pump gas to Europe through the Baltic Sea, will now be replaced by a new pipeline that will export huge amounts of gas to China. Source: EU dealt blow as Putin unveils new gas pipeline with China to ‘replace’ German flows

FULL STORY – Russia will replace the £8 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline with a new pipeline that would deliver gas to China. Nord Stream 2 would have circumvented Ukraine and Poland and increased Russian gas shipments to Germany. 

Moscow’s Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, declared the Asian Force Siberia 2 would replace the cancelled pipeline. Novak told Rossiya-1 that Moscow would replace Nord Stream 2 with Force Siberia 2. 

During a visit to Uzbekistan yesterday, the energy minister said Russia and China, which have developed ties over the last year, would soon sign a deal to provide 50 bcm of gas per year via the planned Force 2 pipeline in Siberia. 

The Power of Siberia 2 pipeline will virtually replace Nord Stream 1’s 55 bcm gas capacity. Since the beginning of the month, Russia has “indefinitely” suspended pipeline flows, claiming leak-related repairs.

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Gazprom blamed the suspension on a pipeline problem, although supplies were halted when the G7 capped Russian oil prices. Experts say Putin has weaponised the pipeline. Putin met with his Chinese and Mongolian colleagues on Thursday to discuss the Force Siberia 2 pipeline.

Moscow is aggressively hunting for consumers to replace its large energy exports to the EU, but analysts say discussions between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Putin may be tough since China won’t need more gas until well beyond 2030. 

This pipeline would bring a lot of gas from the Yamal peninsula in west Siberia to China, which uses the most energy in the world. 

Novak said that the amount of Russian gas sent to the EU “will drop by about 50 billion cubic meters” in 2022. This could be a reference to the fact that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is currently being “maintained,” or it could be a threat to stop sending more gas to Europe.

Putin has vowed to “freeze Europe” in retaliation to sanctions, so the EU is scurrying to secure gas supplies.

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