Skip to content

Troubled Waters: Nord Stream 2 and Putin’s Test of Euro-Atlantic Solidarity

Although the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny in August brought the natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 (NS2) to the forefront of European and transatlantic relations, the threat of European sanctions and urgency around opposition to the pipeline is receding as Navalny recovers. But for some countries, NS2 was never a backburner issue. This flashpoint undercuts EU and transatlantic solidarity, illuminating in particular the difficulty of achieving a truly unified European approach to energy security. Opposition to the pipeline within the EU and from the US, and steps toward energy diversification in Europe have, however, increased NS2’s cost and diminished Russia’s capacity to leverage energy as a source of political influence in Europe.