Appeal to the Federal Government and to the Democratic Parties in Germany

Dear Chancellor, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are reaching out to you to urge that you declare an immediate moratorium on the natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. There are many reasons for this step. Nord Stream 2

  • undermines European cohesion and transatlantic relations;
  • conflicts with the new European and German climate goals;
  • threatens the already precarious security of Ukraine and
  • runs counter to the aim of a common EU external energy policy.

The Nord Stream 2 project was controversial right from the start. The agreements were signed shortly after the annexation of Crimea and the Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine.

The undeclared war against Ukraine continues, while the crackdown on democratic civil society in Russia grows ever more oppressive. There has also been a whole series of attacks on the liberal democracies of the West. The hopes for “Wandel durch Handel” (change through trade) have not been realised.

Nord Stream 2 is also out of step with current climate policy. The biggest fossil-fuel infrastructure project in Europe, it is intended to lock in the import of natural gas from the Arctic regions of Russia for decades to come. Yet if it is to meet its climate goals, the EU must start reducing natural gas consumption during the present decade.

Nord Stream 2 is not necessary for the energy security of Germany or of the EU. The capacities of existing continental pipelines are sufficient to meet future needs. The new pipeline is primarily a geopolitical project aimed at cutting Ukraine and Poland out of gas transit equation. This is not an aim that the Federal Government should endorse.

Moreover, Nord Stream 2 is completely at odds with the EU’s declared aim of diversifying the European natural gas supply and breaking up monopolistic structures.

This project is fomenting discord and distrust within the European Community at a time when the ability to take collective action is crucial. Last but not least, Nord Stream 2 is an obstacle to a “fresh start” in transatlantic relations, which is well overdue.

For these reasons, we call upon the Federal Government to immediately impose a moratorium on Nord Stream 2 to allow for serious political dialogue. After putting Nord Stream 2 on hold, the American sanctions ought to be suspended.

Specifically, a moratorium should be used to

  • clarify the strategic implications of Nord Stream 2 – particularly with respect to the security of Ukraine and of the EU’s eastern member states;
  • undertake a detailed life cycle assessment of the project and have its climate impacts examined by an independent body;
  • push forward with a common European energy policy;
  • resolve the transatlantic differences relating to Nord Stream 2 and
  • discuss principal issues of controversy between the EU and the Kremlin and reassess Nord Stream 2 in that light of this discussion.

A moratorium for Nord Stream 2 offers a way out of a muddled political situation. It represents a chance to arrive at a common European position. Lastly, and importantly, a moratorium would serve as a clear signal to the Russian leadership that they must expect consequences to ensue from their continuing violations of international law and of the rules upon which the European order is based.

Please do not to let this chance slip away.


Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Member of Parliament, Lithuania 

Juri Andruchowytsch, Writer, Ukraine 

Natalia Arno, Free Russia Foundation, USA 

Timothy Garton Ash, Professor at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom 

Anders Åslund, Atlantic Council, Sweden 

Audronius Ažubalis, Member of Parliament, Lithuania 

Rainer Baake, Climate Neutrality Foundation, Germany

Rudi Bachmann, University of Notre Dame, Germany

Margarita M. Balmaceda, Professor at the Seton Hall University, USA 

Marieluise Beck, Zentrum Liberale Moderne, Germany

James D. Bindenagel, Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, USA

Marianne Birthler, Former Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records, Germany

Jerzy Buzek, Former Prime Minister, Member of the European Parliament, Poland

Emily Channell-Justice, Harvard University, USA 

Sławomir Dębski, The Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), Poland 

Larry Diamond, Stanford University, USA 

Peter B. Doran, Former President of the Center for European Policy Analysis, USA 

Bas Eickhout, Member of the European Parliament, Netherlands 

Michael Emerson, Centre for European Policy Studies; Former EU Ambassador to Russia, Belgium

Mateusz Fałkowski, Pilecki Institute, Poland

Pavel Fischer, Senator, Czech Republic 

Roland Freudenstein, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Germany 

Ralf Fücks, Zentrum Liberale Moderne, Germany 

Francis Fukuyama, Professor at the Stanford University, USA 

Anthony Giddens, King’s College Cambridge, United Kingdom 

Sven Giegold, Member of the European Parliament, Germany

Hanna Gill-Piątek, Member of Parliament, Poland

Paul Grod, Ukrainian World Congress, Canada 

Rebecca Harms, Former Member of the European Parliament, Germany 

Pavel Havlicek, Association for International Affairs, Czech Republic

Paulina Hennig-Kloska, Member of Parliament, Poland

John Herbst, Atlantic Council; former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, USA 

Ben Hodges, Former Commanding General U.S. Army Europe, USA 

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Former President, Estonia 

Jakub Janda, European Values Center for Security Policy, Czech Republic 

Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Member of Parliament, Lithuania 

Jonathan Katz, German Marshall Fund, USA 

James Kirchick, Brookings Institution, USA 

Jakub Klepal, Forum 2000, Czech Republic 

Pavlo Klimkin, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine 

Petr Kolář, Former ambassador of the Czech Republic to the USA and Russia, Czech Republic 

John Kornblum, Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, USA

Marcin Korolec, Former Minister of Environment, President of COP19, Poland

Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk, Historian, Germany

Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Member of the European Parliament, Poland 

Peter Kreko, Political Capital Institute, Hungary 

Sergey Lagodinsky, Member of the European Parliament, Germany 

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Friedrich Naumann Foundation; Former Federal Minister of Justice, Germany 

Miriam Lexmann, Member of the European Parliament, Slovakia 

John Lough, Chatham House, United Kingdom 

Edward Lucas, Center for European Policy Analysis, United Kingdom 

Arminas Lydeka, Member of Parliament, Lithuania 

Michael McFaul, FSI Institute for International Studies; Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, USA 

Markus Meckel, Former Foreign Minister of the GDR, Germany 

James D. Melville Jr., Former U.S. Ambassador to Estonia, USA 

Marie Mendras, Sciences Po, France 

Vladimir Milov, Former Deputy Minister of Energy, Russian Federation 

Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Member of Parliament, Lithuania 

Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), Germany 

Jutta Paulus, Member of the European Parliament, Germany 

Žygimantas Pavilionis, Member of Parliament, Lithuania 

Tomasz Peszyński, Pulse of Europe, Czech Republic 

Steven Pifer, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, USA 

Ruprecht Polenz, German Association for East European Studies (DGO), Former Member of Parliament, Germany 

Jana Puglierin, European Council on Foreign Relations, Germany 

Janusz Reiter, Former Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Germany and the USA, Poland 

Adam Daniel Rotfeld, Former Foreign Minister, Poland 

Manfred Sapper, Journal “Osteuropa” (Eastern Europe), Germany 

András Simonyi, Former Hungarian Ambassador to the USA, Hungary

Karl Schlögel, Eastern European historian and publicist, Germany 

Benjamin L. Schmitt, Harvard University, USA 

Constanze Stelzenmüller, The Brookings Institution, Germany

Mirosław Suchoń, Member of Parliament, Poland

Paul J. Sullivan, Johns Hopkins University, USA 

Giedrius Surplys, Member of Parliament, Lithuania 

Oleksandr Sushko, International Renaissance Foundation, Ukraine 

Nicolas Tenzer, CERAP – France; Guest professor at the Sciences Po, France 

Ellen Ueberschär, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Germany

Andreas Umland, Ukrainian Institute for the Future (Kyiv), Germany

Tom van der Lee, Member of Parliament, Netherlands

Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Berlin, Germany

Alexander Vershbow, Former Deputy Secretary General of NATO; Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, USA

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Former President, Latvia

Kenneth R. Weinstein, Hudson Institute, USA 

Heinrich August Winkler, Historian, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany 

Marie L. Yovanovitch, Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, USA 

Jan Zielonka, Professor at the University of Oxford and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Netherlands 

Emanuelis Zingeris, Member of Parliament, Lithuania