Delaying Nord Stream 2 harms Europe’s economic development, Kremlin warns – Business & Economy

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Holding back the launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is bad for project participants, for consumers and for the economic development of Europe as a whole, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

Previously, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had not ruled out measures against Nord Stream 2 in the event of an “aggression” by Moscow against Kiev. Commenting on these statements, the Kremlin press secretary noted that “someone regularly, daily threatens Russia with something.”

“It is impossible to extinguish the international commercial Nord Stream 2 project, because it has not yet been launched. The fact that it has not been launched is bad both for those who are engaged in this project and for those who consume gas in Europe. . This is bad for the economic development of Europe, which, by the way, also suffers significantly in these pandemic times,” Peskov stressed.

The Kremlin official acknowledged that the situation in Ukraine is “very tense, indeed”.

“We see arms deliveries there, we see various maneuvers and we see flights of NATO and Western European planes. All these factors make the situation tense around Ukraine,” the Russian presidential spokesman stressed.

Moscow would like its counterparts, including in Germany, to draw attention to this as well, Peskov added.

“And as for relations with Germany, we value them very much and they are very important to us. We hope that we will cultivate them regularly,” he stressed.

The Nord Stream 2 saga

Construction of Nord Stream 2 was fully completed on September 10, 2021. Work was originally expected to be completed by the end of 2019, although construction was postponed due to US sanctions. The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction of two gas pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from the Russian coast across the Baltic Sea to Germany.

To start pumping gas, the Nord Stream 2 operator must get the green light from the German regulator. On November 16, the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) suspended the certification procedure for Nord Stream 2 AG, based in Zug (Switzerland), as an independent transmission operator due to organizational and legal problems. The regulator noted that the certification procedure will remain suspended until the operator’s main assets and human resources are transferred to the ownership of its German subsidiary.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on December 29 that Russia and its partners had achieved their goal of creating Nord Stream 2, adding that it was up to the Europeans to decide now. The Russian leader noted that the pipeline is ready for operation. Once Moscow’s partners in Europe make a decision on this, additional volumes of Russian gas will be pumped through the pipeline, Putin said. He was also convinced that the opening of the operation of Nord Stream 2 would allow a drop in gas prices in Europe.

Given the new green policy direction, Germany now needs more gas as the country gradually moves away from the use of coal and nuclear power.