Head of the board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, Andriy Kobolyev, believes that it is highly likely that the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 bypassing Ukraine will never see completion due to a package of economic restrictions imposed by the U.S. government.
"There are chances [that Nord Stream 2 will not be completed], and they are quite big. I believe that the sanctions imposed by the U.S. government are working effectively. We see how companies, one after another, are withdrawing from the project: insurance firms, major oil and gas companies are halting the funding," Kobolyev told Radio NV.
"That is, Nord Stream 2 has already become so toxic that for private companies it brings more negative than positive things," added the Naftogaz CEO.
According to Kobolyev, at the same time, there is a tough principled position of the German, which seeks to have the project completed "at any cost."
The Nord Stream 2 project envisages 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. The project is being implemented by Russia's Gazprom in alliance with European companies – ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, 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.
On December 9, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with expanded restrictions against the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
On December 11, 2020, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline resumed.
The U.S. Senate approved the U.S. defense budget for the fiscal year 2021, which provides for new sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2.
On January 7, 2021, a fund was established in Germany to support the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project.
Read also Zelensky to Duda on Nord Stream 2: "Trap for the whole of Europe" On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of State notified European companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 of the risk of having new sanctions imposed on them.
On February 22, 2021, the United States imposed new sanctions on the Russian FORTUNA vessel building Nord Stream 2.
As of February 23, 2021, eighteen European companies at once refused to complete the construction of Nord Stream 2 over the U.S. sanctions.
Reporting by UNIAN