Global Energy Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Alan Riley writes for the Wall Street Journal on the European Union’s Central and Eastern European members’ opposition to Moscow’s Berlin-backed plan to boost its energy leverage:

European Union leaders are headed for a major showdown at their summit in Brussels starting Thursday. On the one side, Germany, which, along with Russia, is one of the main proponents of the proposed Nord Stream II underwater gas pipeline. On the other, the EU’s Central and Eastern European members, led most recently and most vocally by Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. It’s a dispute that will likely escalate all the way to the European Court of Justice. It’s a fight Europe needs to have.

The Nord Stream II pipeline would stretch 1,200 kilometers across the Baltic Sea, from Vyborg on the Russian coast to Griefswald, Germany. Once completed, it would have the capacity to transport 27.5 billion cubic meters of gas directly to Germany, circumventing Ukraine and the Central and Eastern European states. Russia’s Gazprom would own 50% of the project, and France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, and E.ON each would own a 10% share.

Read the full article here.

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