The $12.1 billion pipeline has stoked fears in Europe over growing dependence on state-run Gazprom, which already provides around a quarter of the European Union’s gas. Critics maintain that Nord Stream will seal a dangerous alliance between Berlin and Moscow, reminiscent of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
Gazprom is the perfect bogeyman: oversized, greedy, and always lurking around the corner. Rather than fight its image as Putin’s “energy weapon,” the company relishes it. But the monster is illusory.