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3 Jun, 2021 10:57

Nord Stream 2 will cost Kiev $3 billion in transit fees every year, leaving Ukraine unable to finance its army, says Zelensky

Nord Stream 2 will cost Kiev $3 billion in transit fees every year, leaving Ukraine unable to finance its army, says Zelensky

The completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 project will deprive Ukraine of about $3 billion annually, with the country’s pipelines no longer necessary for the transportation of Russian gas to Western Europe.

That’s according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who told a delegation from the US Congress that America should do what it can to prevent Nord Stream 2 from being completed.

Once finished, the pipeline will connect Germany directly to Russia via the Baltic Sea. It aims to protect Berlin’s energy security and make the process less reliant on third countries transiting gas, thereby lowering the price. As things stand, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, around 100km remains to be completed, which should be achieved by the end of 2021.

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“Only the United States and the administration of President Joe Biden can prevent the completion and commissioning of Nord Stream 2,” Zelensky explained. “Nord Stream 2 will disconnect Ukraine from gas supplies, which means ‘disconnecting’ us from at least $3 billion a year… We will have nothing to pay for the Ukrainian Army."

According to the Ukrainian leader, without this money, the country will no longer have a “powerful and well-supplied army” to continue “defending Europe and European values.”

The construction of Nord Stream 2 has been significantly hindered by US sanctions, with Washington imposing numerous packages of measures against companies involved in the building, maintenance, insurance, and certification of the project. The American authorities have claimed that its completion would “undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability.” However, some have accused the Americans of opposing the pipeline for economic reasons, as the country looks to increase its exports of liquefied natural gas to the continent.

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Kiev has also claimed that its opposition to Nord Stream 2 is linked to national security. Earlier this year, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksey Reznikov told the Wall Street Journal that Moscow has tried to bully its western neighbor by threatening to cut off the gas transported through the territory.

“Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline’s completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security,” Reznikov wrote. “Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany.”

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