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Economic and Political Ground Behind Energy Projects: Case of Nord Stream – 2

Student: Alina Rukavishnikova

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: 2021

This study is focused on the Nord Stream 2 project which was initiated by Russian Federation and Germany in 2015 and its necessity was justified by the growing demand of Europe for gas imports and diversification of gas suppliers. Additionally, this paper addresses the economic and political discrepancies which always take place around energy projects and discusses why various international actors perceive such energy projects in different ways. Although there has been a significant number of research about energy projects in general and Nord Stream 2 in particular, still it remains unclear how the nature of controversies surrounding energy projects can be explained based on the interests and demands of the main actors involved in energy projects. This paper fills some of these gaps using the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. The analysis of the initial tasks of the gas pipeline, the justification of its necessity and the statements of investors, show one side of the project. Nevertheless, the key part of this research is focused on calculation the Nord Stream 2 payback period for Russian Federation since it may reveal whether this pipeline was initiated due to some ulterior motives. The initial hypothesis is that the nature of the contradictions lies in how countries perceive the energy project and whether the way the project is portrayed corresponds to its necessity and goals for the initiator side. The results of this study can serve as a significant addition to the existing research in the field of the energy sphere and will allow using of the obtained data in further forecasts about the future of the Nord Stream 2 project and the actions that will be undertaken by international actors in response to this project.

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