Ukraine’s authorities have started negotiations with their EU partners to set up a task force to stop the construction of Nord Stream 2, which Russian gas export monopoly, Gazprom, plans to use in supplying 55bcm of natural gas to Europe annually, bypassing Ukraine.

“I am not going to disclose all the tools we employ to stop the construction of Nord Stream 2. But I want to highlight this matter is of utmost importance for us now. I hope we will manage to stop the construction”, Ukraine’s president wrote in his column at Medium.

Poroshenko called Nord Stream 2 a purely political project without any economic grounds. He is sure the only goal of the pipeline is to deprive Ukraine of about $3bn a year it gets as payment for Russian gas transit via Ukraine.

“$3bn is what we spend on the whole Ukraine’s defence sector. Do you see why they build this pipeline? Not for the sake of diversification by economic means but in order to leave Ukraine without cash to finance its defence system”, he stressed.

Ukraine’s president also mentioned one more threat from the new pipeline bypassing Ukraine, is that it will allow Russia to behave more aggressively.

“Do you know why Putin is hesitating before attacking our country? This is because if the gas transportation network is stopped by this aggression, Putin will stop getting payments from Europe for gas transiting via Ukraine’s territory and these payments totalled $30bn last year alone. Russia will not survive without this $30bn. But once they switch to bypass routes, this security factor will not work anymore”, Poroshenko announced.

Ukraine’s president added that they had already proposed that Germany should stop Nord Stream 2 construction (it is in Germany where the new pipeline will enter Europe from the Baltic Sea, and Germany’s Wintershall is one of the latest project members). In exchange, Ukraine is offering Germany a place in the international consortium to manage Ukraine’s gas transportation system.

According to Poroshenko, Ukraine’s partners from the U.S. are also determined to fight against the new Russian pipeline, and “no-one will go against” possible U.S. sanctions.

I am sure we will be able to stop it [Nord Stream 2] by joint, united efforts, Ukraine’s president said.

The Nord Stream 2 project is developed by Nord Stream 2 AG, which has Gazprom as a 51% shareholder. The pipeline will run more than 1.2 thousand kilometres and have a total capacity of 55bcm per year. Nord Stream 2 is scheduled to commence operation in late 2019. Currently, Gazprom has secured construction and operation agreements from Germany, Finland and Sweden, and is in the process of reaching agreement with Denmark.

 

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ecomomika
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Just two years back, Ukraine was convinced that the new pipeline would be buried either with the help of the shale gas revolution or through political means. Ukraine could have kept a monopoly in gas transit to the EU and could have even increased prices.