Ukraine to face new threat if Nord Stream 2 launches – Naftogaz CEO
21:00, 01.03.21 – UNIAN
Everything must be done to prevent increasing Russian aggression, Kobolyev believes.
If Nord Stream 2 is completed and launched, Ukraine’s energy security will be under threat, while revenues from gas transit will be lost; however, the government has prepared for such a scenario, says CEO of National Joint-Stock Company Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy Kobolyev says.
“We’ve got ourselves prepared for such a scenario. If you look at this summer’s figures, you’ll see we’ll have a balance of energy resources and receive them at a fair price thanks to our underground storage facilities and full integration into the European gas transmission system,” the Ukrainian online news outlet Obozrevatel quoted Kobolyev as saying on March 1.
“Yes, we risk losing transit revenue and a security component, but at the same time we won’t face any shortage of fuel. We’re relatively protected in the gas market and we even re-export gas from our underground storage facilities. But we are now dependent on imports from Belarus on the electricity market. If, say, tomorrow, supplies from there are halted for some reason, the country may face rolling blackouts,” he said.
Kobolyev added that everything must be done to prevent growing Russian aggression in this regard. To this end, NJSC Naftogaz is fighting against the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
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. 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.
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 being struck by sanctions.
On January 18, 2021, the United States warned allies in Europe about its intention to impose sanctions on the Russian pipe-laying ship Fortuna, engaged in the NS2 project.