Germany and Austria are not the only ones lobbying for the Russian gas pipeline. The Dutch government has also been supportive of the Russians for several years without informing either the parliament or the public.
The Dutch website Follow The Money (FTM), which has investigated the matter independently, reports on the Dutch-Russian gas talks. In 2014, after Russian separatists shot down a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, the victims of which were mostly Dutch citizens, The Hague broke off its annual consultations with Russia on common economic interests. This put an end to regular government meetings on energy projects.
The website claims that the disaster only temporarily affected Russian-Dutch relations, as their links within the gas sector proved immune to political developments. After several years of stagnation in bilateral contacts, dialogue resumed in May 2017.
At that time, the Flame conference was held in Amsterdam, attended by Russian trade representatives. The list of speakers was almost entirely made up of representatives of Dutch and Russian companies involved in Nord Stream 2. The event was attended by gas sector figures and representatives of Allseas – a Swiss pipeline layer – and Van Oord from the Netherlands.
The Dutch-Russian energy working group is still running in 2021. FTM reported that the third meeting in four years is scheduled for the spring. The Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is already a regular talking point. According to the website, “the Netherlands is one of the few countries in Europe that support this gas pipeline project”.
These meetings do not appear in parliamentary reports or document registers of the Dutch ministries, but the Dutch website has found evidence of such contacts in reports of the Russian energy ministry.
“Many CEE countries fear that Russia’s dominance in the gas sector will increase after the construction of Nord Stream 2. Countries like Germany and the Netherlands see the project as an excellent opportunity to sell energy and consider it purely commercial. Europe is divided by Nord Stream 2 and the Dutch government is on Russia’s side,” concludes the Dutch website.
By: Annie Cook (photo: