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Political and Economic Aspects of the Project "Nord Stream 2"

Student: Polina Iureva

Supervisor: Maxim Bratersky

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Double degree programme in International Relations of the NRU HSE and the University of London (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2020

The energy interests of various countries are one of the main causes of disputes between states. Each country that mainly consumes gas seeks to protect its supply, make it more stable, but does not want to be hardly dependent on it since such dependence can become an instrument of pressure. Gas supplying countries want a stable market. In the European Union, conflicts arising from opposing interests are common, especially in the gas sector. Nord Stream-2 is one of the projects that shows the consequences of such contradictions. One of the main arguments for accusing Russia is the fact that the country has set the goal: to reduce gas transit through Ukraine. The United States, as well as Eastern Europe, consider this to be an instrument of influence on Ukraine since revenues from transit tariffs are a significant percentage of the country's GDP. Moreover, opponents of the project believe that the desire to find a different supply route, not through Ukraine, was caused by the events that happened in Crimea in 2014, which led to the imposition of sanctions against Russia. Even though Russia does not plan to cancel the transit of gas through Ukraine as a whole, in 2019, sanctions against Russia and directly of Nord Stream-2 were entered into the US defence budget. The main goal of such actions is to cancel or at least slow down the construction of the project. On the other hand, the construction of the third and fourth gas lines under the Nord Stream project will help Russia and Germany not only establish a stable energy dialogue but also make gas supplies to Europe more independent. Since gas will be supplied to Germany and further distributed mainly from there, this will open up new prospects for Germany. Russia will be able to strengthen its relationship with Germany, and will also be able to guarantee stable gas supplies to Europe.

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