The Land Government’s support for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline for years and the establishment of the Climate Protection Fund just over 15 months ago has been most recent since the beginning of the Russian Aggressive war in Ukraine under criticism. The state parliament will therefore also vote on the establishment of a parliamentary inquiry committee on Wednesday. Meanwhile, charges against the state government are rising.
“Close relationship “between Nord Stream 2 and the state government
In 2016, Nord Stream 2 AG invited representatives of the state government to a so-called “kick-off meeting”. A presentation is shown on the Baltic Sea pipeline, in which the leaders of the subsidiary of the Russian state-owned company Gazprom ask for political support for the natural gas pipeline. The proposal states that “political support for the reorganization of the territories is of great importance” and “a similar cabinet decision from Schwerin would be desirable”.
In the following years, the state government repeatedly politically supported Nord Stream 2 AG in the completion of the pipeline. For example, two employees in the Stralsund Mining Authority will be hired specifically for the project, so that the approval of the natural gas pipeline can be completed quickly. In addition, it is now known that Nord Stream 2 AG provided the state government with communication strategies for the pipeline and later was also involved in the development of the climate protection fund. All this is evident from the internal correspondence from the State Chancellery, which, among others, the investigative journalist Vera Deleja-Hotko from the transparency platform “Ask the State” procured through legal channels. She concludes: “You can already see that there is a pretty close relationship between the state government and Nord Stream 2 AG”.
Lobbying: “Close interdependence”
In the new NDR MV podcast “Nord Stream 2 Files: Gas, Money, Secrets”, climate expert Ninakatzemich from the independent organization “Lobby Control” explains that the events in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania would go beyond the definition of lobbying: “It is a “It’s a very close connection, a very close partnership. I do not want to call it lobbying anymore.” Opposition politicians view it in the same way. The Green Party’s energy policy spokesman in the state parliament, Hannes Damm, says in the podcast: “This is definitely lobbying. The question is what other strong words one can choose there for. I would say that it is moving in the direction of political corruption.” For Rene Domke, the FDP’s parliamentary group leader, the limits of lobbying have been exceeded. Regarding Nord Stream 2 AG’s participation in the fund idea, Domke says: “It is almost a dictation, and if you allow it, you will of course become addicted.”
Ministerial level (SPD) rejects allegations
For the state government, the constant, intensive contact with Nord Stream 2 was not lobbying. Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) has repeatedly stressed: “These allegations are false. The then Minister of Energy and the current Minister of the Interior, Christian Level (SPD), also believes that the actions of the entire state government were in the interest of the state. Nord Stream 2 AG in the development of the fund idea. “Where they represent their interests, they represent their interests – just as other companies do. But on the points where I involve them because I want the fund to work afterwards, it’s even in my interest. “
Rostock political scientist talks about lobbying scandal in MV
Professor Wolfgang Muno, a political scientist at the University of Rostock, disagrees. The case in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is different from e.g. the lobbying influence of pharmaceutical companies or law firms. “We are dealing with a particular lobbying scandal here because another country is lobbying through state-owned enterprises.” He comes to the conclusion that this is lobbying from a foreign dictatorship in Germany. Muno is of the opinion that the possible committee of inquiry should uncover how far Moscow’s influence on Schwerin went.
Kiel security expert raises issues of corruption and bribery
Professor Joachim Krause, director of the Department of Security Policy at the University of Kiel, also believes that investigations by law enforcement agencies are appropriate. In the light of recent years’ policies in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and in the federal government, the terms “corruption” and “bribery” come to mind. According to Krause, the extent of the years of ignoring the state government, but also the federal government, of facts – such as Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the Navalny case or the shooting down of the passenger plane MH 17 – cannot be explained otherwise.
New NDR MV Podcast in ARD Audiothek and in the NDR MV App
The first episode “Bending and Breaking” is about these claims and more. An additional six episodes are shown daily in ARD Audiothek and i NDR MV App.