And if there’s anyone who knows how to be a political tool, it’s Rex Tillerson. But he’s not just full of…gas…on this one. The Nord Stream 2 project has few fans outside of Moscow.
If you’ve got time on your hands and you want to get a leg up on the next water cooler discussion on world energy policy, take a look at the Nord Stream 2 deal. Which would connect Russia and Germany directly via a 2nd pipeline, even though another already exists. And that pipeline isn’t running at full capacity anyway.
The direct route cuts out Eastern European countries that currently pick up transit fees for overland natural gas from the Russians. So that’s why the Poles are pissed. But the deal is going to mean a lot of money for German businesses. And as Europe’s largest economy, Germany wouldn’t mind staying that way.
Plus there’s the concern that if things go really poorly with Moscow, then Putin just turns off the pump. And that’s a significant concern when 40% of all natural gas consumed in the EU comes from Russia.
While a lot of Germans aren’t happy with the deal, this isn’t Tillerson’s best move. There’s a long history of cooperation between Berlin and DC, and speeches like this put that at risk. That’s not a relationship Washington can afford to further damage.