After numerous reports coming recently about the threats the laying ot the Nord Stream 2 gas pipe off the coast of Bornholm to local ecology due to the area being having been infested with WW2 chemical munitions, as well as in the wake of a failed attempt by Bundestag to abolish gas directives in favor of the Russian energy project, a number of "ecologists" unexpectedly spoke up in its defense!
Or was this move actually expected?
Head of the political department at Greenpeace (the organization, which in the past even tried to suspend the NS2 construction), Tobias Münchmeyer recently said that the pipeline plays a vital role for Germany and even more so: "During this project, we realized that Gazprom and the consortium are ready to learn and address environmental issues.”
In this regard I can't but recall a statement by Claudia Kemfert, Professor at the German Institute for Economic Research, who stressed that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline definitely makes no sense for Germany.
But what made environmental activists walk back on their own hostile attitude toward NS2 and shift to a more condescending one?
The thing is that Russia has long been setting up or gaining control over environmental and expert organizations in its territory. For example, as of today, not a single environmental organization is in fact independent.
In particular, not so long ago, an international environmental commission completed its work at the Belarusian NPP, which the Russians have been building in Ostrovets (Belarus) and which some have already branded a potential "Chernobyl 2.0". The commission concluded that the project was absolutely safe and reliable.
The problem is though that the "international" commission for some reason consisted of delegates representing exclusively Russian organizations. Among them was the Green Cross, founded in 1993 by Mikhail Gorbachev, which never came to the top in the field and never gained any weight in the international arena, and which in 2017 saw a classical Russian "raider takeover". Also, there were representatives of Yekaterinburg-based Alpha-X91 and research and educational organization Energy and Ecology from Snezhinsk, Chelyabinsk region. Not a single delegate from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA was involved. Indeed, why bother if they had respected experts from Snezhinsk!
But it’s not about Snezhinsk or BelNPP specifically, it's about Russia having long learned to reach deals not only with politicians, but also with environmentalists.
Some $138 million was invested in environmental monitoring and study of the Nord Stream 2 route. And for a very, very long time this monitoring, including "independent" efforts, will need to be continued. And this means that someone will simply ensure for themselves more than just a comfortable retirement.