26 Jan 2022

A (E)U-turn from Nord Stream 2 towards a European Strategic Gas Reserve

Daniel Gros

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The EU does not have an army. It thus cannot defend Ukraine from a Russian invasion, but it can at least put itself in a situation in which it does not depend on gas deliveries from a potential aggressor, a dependence that many argue would only become more severe with the formal opening of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline connecting Russia with Germany.

Diminishing Europe’s dependence on Russian gas requires the creation of a credible European Strategic Gas Reserve for emergency situations.  This cannot be achieved overnight but some first practical steps can be taken quickly and, importantly, cheaply. Such action, which should be spearheaded at the European level, would send a powerful signal that the EU is indeed willing to act and put its money where its mouth is, namely in the defence of its core values and strategic interests.