Putin's Got Gas, and Merkel Wants Some

Both Russia and Germany are pushing for construction of a new gas pipeline, but the U.S. and others oppose

Nord Stream 2 is a…

Germany, under Angela Merkel's leadership, wants the new pipeline, because it will help it to transition off nuclear power while still meeting emissions standards it has set for itself (natural gas is relatively clean-burning, as opposed to coal). As an added benefit, Germany would then act as a distributor to other European countries, enriching itself in the process. Russia wants the new pipeline, because it will allow its gas to bypass existing pipelines that flow through Ukraine, removing Ukraine from the revenue flow and further isolating the country. Russia has been steadily chipping away at Ukrainian sovereignty over the last few years, first with the annexation of the Crimea, then with the thinly-veiled Russian-backed rebellion in the eastern, ethnically Russian, part of the country. Hurting the country economically is part of the overall plan.