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Nord Stream and the Destruction of Confidence

Following yesterday’s news that the Baltic pipeline project (Nord Stream) is expected to go over budget by 50-100%, some bloggers are catching on to the complicated political challenge posed by the German-Russian alliance. This comes from Cicero’s Songs:

Germany, which has been particularly courted by both Gazprom and the official Russian government, now has a series of public conflicts concerning how Russia has used its relations with key individuals. The first and growing scandal concerns Gerhard Schroeder, the one time Chancellor, who took the job of chairman of Nord Stream, and with it some extremely large financial arrangements. As Chancellor, Schroeder had championed the scheme and drawn a veil over the gathering gloom about Russian democracy. He and his wife, indeed had adopted Russian children from the Russian city of St. Petersburg, the home city of President Vladimir Putin- an exceptionally rare occurrence to gain official sanction. As a result, Mr. Schroeder seems to have become exceptionally loyal to Russia – trying to lobby Estonia to back down, for example during the Bronze statue crisis – a crisis to a very great degree of Russia’s making. If Nord Stream was trying to allay the security fears of the countries between Russia and Germany, he could hardly have done a better job- at destroying confidence.