Mats Johansson on Nord Stream

Mats Johansson, an MP from Sweden’s Moderate Party, has a brief comment up over at The Stockholm Observer about the security issues surrounding the passage of the Nord Stream pipeline through Swedish waters.  Mr. Johansson kindly links over to Grigory Pasko’s extensive reports on the story.  Pasko has also made a documentary film on the subject of Nord Stream pipeline politics, entitled “Buried at Sea.”

The Russian energy giant Gazprom tightens its grip around the island of Gotland in The Baltic Sea. The use of energy resources as a strategic weapon was out-lined by Vladimir Putin in his doctoral thesis in 1997, and now his doctrine is put into effect through the company Nord Stream. It has now started to prepare the harbour in Slite (also called Sliteburg) for the coming installation of a Russian-German pipeline for the distribution of gas to Germany – long before the Swedish government has finished the environmental evaluation of the project. Thus a fait accompli has been established. 

Generous donations by Nord Stream to different local projects made the right decisions attractive to local politicians, but the public opinion on the island is split. Many think that an increasing Russian presence in the waters will also have an effect on the security situation. Prime Minister Putin has stated that it is the duty of his Baltic fleet to protect Russian interests in the Baltic basin, thus adding a military twist to the project.