Ukraine pursues its efforts to make sure that Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipe never starts operations once its construction is completed.
That’s according to CEO of Naftogaz of Ukraine, Yuriy Vitrenko, who spoke in an interview with RFE/RL, Ukrinform reports.
"The battle is lost, but the war isn’t. And our ‘war’ against Nord Stream 2 continues. The battle that’s lost is most likely what it looks like – that’s the very construction of Nord Stream 2 that will be completed. Now comes our next 'battle,' or the ongoing 'battle' we’re engaged in, which is to ensure that this pipeline, whether it’s completed or not, never launches," the CEO said.
According to Vitrenko, it’s important to prevent the commercial use of the gas pipeline. "Because what’s important for Ukraine is not whether this pipe is out there or not, it’s that gas doesn’t flow through it bypassing Ukraine. And we need to make sure that this gas doesn’t flow through this pipe," Vitrenko stressed.
The officials added that Ukraine has all the levers to this end. In particular, it could be proved that the pipeline operator is controlled by Russia's Gazprom and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, European legislation prohibits a single person or group from controlling both gas production and transportation, so the pipeline operator will not be able to pass the required certification.
"And this is even spelled out in that joint statement released by the United States and Germany. They say that they will do everything to ensure that European legislation, in particular the Third Energy Package, is applied both to the letter and spirit of the law," said Vitrenko.
As Ukrinform reported earlier, on July 21, the U.S. and German governments issued a joint declaration outlining their position on the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The document has sparked massive criticism, including from Ukraine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had sent formal requests for consultations with Germany and the EU, in line with the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
Nord Stream 2: Background
- Nord Stream 2 is a Russian gas pipeline under construction, bypassing Ukraine. It is being laid along the Baltic Sea seabed to connect Russia and Germany. The project cost is estimated at EUR 9.5 billion. The sole shareholder is Russia’s energy giant OJSC Gazprom. In December 2019, construction was suspended due to sanctions imposed by the U.S. government. At the time, the pipeline was 96% complete.
- The new U.S. administration, led by President Joe Biden, now says it is impossible to stop the construction of the pipe at this stage.
- At the same time, criticizing the U.S.-German agreement, Co-Chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus Marcy Kaptur said "Congress must reject any deals that fail to protect transatlantic security and Ukraine's sovereignty," as reported by Ukrinform.
- In turn, the European Commission reminded that in case of completion of the gas pipeline, it will be subject to the provisions of the so-called EU Gas Directive, which does not allow the monopoly use of such infrastructure.
- The Commissioner for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia with Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Matthias Lüttenberg, stated his country’s readiness to hold consultations on Nord Stream 2, initiated by Ukraine.