As the US grapples to find a solution to the EU’s gas supply issues to use as leverage against Russia, the proposed pipeline that offers a way out
As the US grapples to find a solution to the EU’s gas supply issues to use as leverage against Russia, the proposed pipeline that offers a way out has backfired on the President. On Monday, Joe Biden declared that he would axe the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if Russia invaded Ukraine. Though he did not mention specifics, he announced that they would find an alternative to Nord Stream 2.
The Russian owned state-controlled pipeline is of concern to Western officials as it would transfer power to Russian President Vladimir Putin, leaving the EU more dependent on Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has described the pipeline as a “dangerous geopolitical weapon”.
With the pipeline suspended, NATO allies are able to use it as a bargaining chip against Russia, in the hopes to avoid an invasion of Ukraine.
For Germany, the pipeline is currently seen as essential due to soaring energy prices and lower supplies of Russian gas on the continent.
Nord Stream 2 would be able to pump double the amount of gas coming from the Nord Stream pipeline and could heat 26 million homes in Germany while aiding its transition to renewable power.
The US have hailed another pipeline as the solution to the EUs dependence on Russian gas, but Biden’s plan has woefully backfired with accusations of corruption.
The $33bn pipeline running from Azerbaijan to the EU would lessen its dependence on Russia for gas supplies.
BP’s expanded operations on the Caspian Sea bordering Azerbaijan would result in the first commercial gas delivery to Turkey.
The operations called Shah Deniz 2 which feed the pipeline and pump gas down the southern corridor to Europe, have been subject to multiple accusations of corruption.
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Leaked documents revealed by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) state that two Azerbaijan state companies syphoned off $1.7 billion from the Shah Deniz 2 operations by using padded contracts and false charges.
Since 2013, the labourers of a factory run by Bos Shelf, an Azerbaijani state-owned manufacturer of offshore oil and gas infrastructure, have fought against low wages.
The workers released a statement that said: “There is nepotism, landlordism, and gangsterism at the plant. Workers who protest against this injustice are fired.”
Concerns of corruption at their Shah Deniz 2 operations were brought to the attention of BP by both their employees and the former head of Bos Shelf’s administration team, Khuraman Abil.
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Abil filed a case in Baku against Bos Shelf for withholding $214,000 of her salary and claimed unfair dismissal after she complained about corruption.
Her case was ruled against her despite damning evidence in the form of a spreadsheet of people’s salaries, and though she appealed the decision through the Azerbaijani judicial system, the Supreme Court also dismissed the case.
Ms Abil said: “How has BP worked [in Azerbaijan] for 30 years? A sane company wouldn’t come here.”
She added: “BP itself turns a blind eye to this.”
BP have not responded to these allegations other than to say any allegations of corruption should be made to its partners and that BP has fulfilled its due diligence obligations.