With such rogue behavior, it is increasingly difficult for Germany’s Putin Versteher to argue that NS2 is simply a normal commercial deal. It should be increasingly clear that Gazprom is not a commercial business but an arm of Russian geopolitical policy.
Another twist: Russia purportedly supported the anti-immigrant AfD party, whose electoral successes crashed Germany’s stable political equilibrium and caused electoral disasters for the SPD, its most reliable ally in the NS2 saga. Was this another mistake by master strategist Putin?
Yet another twist for Washington to consider: With increasing doubts about NS2, U.S. sanctions of the five European energy giants that are partnering with Russia on NS2 could frighten them into abandoning ship.