Moscow Underlines Nord Stream-2 Project

Moscow Underlines Nord Stream-2 Project
Moscow Underlines Nord Stream-2 Project

The failure to go ahead with the Nord Stream gas pipeline expansion to double gas shipment from Russia's Baltic coast to Germany, bypassing Ukraine, would be "a shot in the foot", Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Monday.

"Failing to implement it now would be a shot in one's foot from the side of whoever would want to do it," Ulyukayev told a briefing in Brussels, Reuters reported.

"This is about Europe's energy balance, safeguarding security of supplies, these are most important questions."

In October, European Commission Energy Union Vice President Maros Sefcovic said the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline project would hurt EU energy security due to increased reliance on Russian gas imports.

Last week, European Council President Donald Tusk said the Nord Stream 2 was not in the EU interests.

The project is a joint venture to build a gas pipeline that would run under the Baltic Sea to provide an additional route for Russian gas supplies to Germany, bypassing the three Baltic countries and Poland. Russian energy giant Gazprom started the project with a consortium of five large European energy companies, namely BASF, EON, Engie, OMV and Shell.

The project plans to use the original Nord Stream pipeline for 86% of the route before branching off. It will have a capacity of up to 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, to be supplied to European customers. Backers of the project say there is no legitimate legal reason to block Nord Stream-2 and German, French, Austrian and Anglo-Dutch firms partnering with Gazprom want access to reliable, competitively-priced gas supplies to compensate for declining European production.