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High-Stakes Streaming

Behind the developments in Eastern Europe is a massive subsea pipeline

For some perspective: Oil and gas companies in the United States constantly argue with environmentalists and indigenous peoples groups over the construction of pipelines. From these debates, you'd think it was a life-or-death situation.

In comparison to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea, it's not.

Russian landfall facilities of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in September 2021.—Nord Stream 2 photo

Consider the current geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe. Military conflict, war material, and actual lives are at stake as Russia masses troops on the Ukrainian border and the NATO collective of nations prepares a response. For many, it feels like this is the most precarious spot of tension featuring the major powers since the Second World War. Behind the geopolitical alliances—namely, those between Russia and Germany—is the Nord Stream 2. A US state department spokesman told the BBC that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline "will not move forward" if Russia were to attack. The controversial energy project is designed to double gas flow and runs from Russia direct to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

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