The European Union should block the gas pipeline project Nord stream-2, which will give the Kremlin’s geopolitical and financial leverage on Germany, Poland and Slovakia, said the head of the Ukrainian state company Naftogaz.
Russian Gazprom agreed in 2015, the project of the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. However, critics believe that the idea and its implementation may limit the supply routes and energy security of the European Union, receives from Russia a third of fuel consumed.
“We urge our European partners to try to look not on immediate consequences, and one step forward, what will happen later, after the Nord Stream-2 will be launched,” — said in an interview with “Reuters” Chairman of the Board “Naftogaz” Andrew KOBOLEV.
According to him, the annual capacity of the planned underwater pipeline, which is 55 billion cubic meters will lead to an equivalent drop in the volume of gas that now pumped through Ukraine and Poland, and will completely destroy this supply route.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with diversification or an increase in security of supply. This means an increase of the dominant position of Gazprom in Europe,” — said KOBOLEV.
Ukraine remains one of the most consistent opponents of the “Nord stream-2”. Currently about one third of deliveries “Gazprom” to Europe is transited through Ukraine. However, the country may lose the status of a transit country and lose get for pumping billions of dollars, in the case of construction of a new pipeline.
KOBOLEV said that European countries should be more careful in their decisions, leading to greater dependence on Russia.
“When there is no Ukrainian route, and Germany will be left with two “Northern flows”, “Gazprom” can use it for various ways of blackmail: higher prices, it can be geopolitical pressure, it can be blackmail other neighbors of Russia, such as Poland, Slovakia,” he said.
Ukraine itself for many years arguing with Russia about the price of gas. “Gazprom” and “Naftogaz” submitted to international arbitration in Stockholm claims, each in the amount of approximately $30 billion, challenging position ten-year contract, which expires in 2019.
KOBOLEV said Russia initiated the debate, to present Ukraine as an unreliable transit partner, and to convince Europe of the advantages of the alternative pipeline.
“The real reason that the Russians are using this as a tool and weapon to advance their ideas,” he said.
KOBOLEV also said that Gazprom is not fulfilling its contractual obligations, in particular delivers gas at a lower than required pressure. This reduces the reliability of transit flows to Europe.
Ukraine, already buys gas from Russia, relying on domestic production and reverse supply from Europe.