Ukraine, in its position on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, insists on the implementation of European directives that will impose unbundling obligations on Russia's gas giant Gazprom.
Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna announced this during a press conference after the Ukraine 30. Ecology Forum, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
"First of all, we insist that the European Commission fulfill the requirements of its own directives, which provide for unbundling obligations for Gazprom, as it has happened with Ukraine, so that the viability of such [gas] transportation could be implemented," she said.
According to Stefanishyna, even if the Nord Stream 2 project has been completed, Ukraine has been working on scenarios on the possible renewal of the full package of sanctions. NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine's team, politicians and the government have also been working on this.
"We believe that not all is lost. Negotiations are continuing. We still could stop the situation," she added.
Unbundling in Ukraine
From January 1, 2020, the functions of the operator of the main gas pipelines of Ukraine were transferred from state-owned Ukrtransgaz, a subsidiary of Naftogaz, to the Gas Transmission System (GTS) Operator of Ukraine. Thus, the unbundling process provided for the separation of the natural gas transportation activity (the activity of the GTS Operator) from the production and supply of natural gas and electricity.
Nord Stream 2: Background
- The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two gas pipeline branches with a total throughput capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It should connect Russia's Ust-Lug and Germany's Greifswald.
- This new pipeline bypassing Ukraine is to be built next to the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The construction of the pipeline was expected to be completed before the end of 2019. The pipeline will be 1,220 km long.
- Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom is the founder of Nord Stream 2 AG.
- The project is being financed by European companies – France's ENGIE, Austria's OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, as well as Germany's Uniper and Wintershall.
- Ukraine stands against the construction of Nord Stream 2 as it will most likely lose its status of a gas transit country, while its potential revenue losses are estimated at US$3 billion annually. The project is also highly criticized by the U.S., Poland, and the Baltic States.
- The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has already been completed by more than 90%.
- The United States has imposed a series of sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and has repeatedly called on European allies and private companies to stop the related works.
- On January 7, 2021, a fund was established in Germany to support the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project.
- Eighteen companies have already refused to participate in the project or are planning to do so because of the sanctions.
- On February 6, 2021, Nord Stream 2 AG announced it would continue laying the pipes as part of the project.
- On March 14, 2021, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said that Europe did not need the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Despite this, Germany continues to insist on the completion of the project.
- On March 19, 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 to immediately halt laying pipes, threatening new sanctions.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline a trap for all countries across Europe.
- On April 20, 2021, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Ukraine should remain a transit country for Russian gas to Europe, despite Germany's decision to complete the construction of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
- On May 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of State announced they would waive sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG, which is responsible for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and its CEO Matthias Warnig. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was "in the national interest" of the country to waive the sanctions.
- On May 26, 2021, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba noted that Ukraine would fight for national interests in the Nord Stream 2 case until the very end.
- On June 1, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that after the launch of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Russia would do everything possible not to renew the current contract for gas transit through Ukraine.
- On June 4, 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the completion of the first string of Nord Stream 2.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that the decision to waive sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO Matthias Warnig could be reconsidered.
On June 8, 2021, a Naftogaz delegation led by Chairman of the Board Yuriy Vitrenko arrived in the United States to hold a series of business meetings in order to convince American senators of the need to strengthen sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Translation: Akulenko Olena