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17 Feb, 2022 13:24

Ukraine makes new Nord Stream 2 claim

According to the Eastern European nation’s PM, the pipeline is a threat to the European continent
Ukraine makes new Nord Stream 2 claim

The certification of Nord Stream 2 has ground to a halt because of Ukraine’s lobbying efforts, the country’s prime minister has alleged, with Kiev having consistently branded the Russian-backed gas pipeline as a threat to its economy and security.

Speaking during a TV marathon on Wednesday – designated by the government as a day of unity in the face of a purported Russian invasion – Denys Shmygal hailed what he said was the country’s successes in holding out against aggression from Moscow.

“Today, we are successfully blocking the Russian hybrid gas weapon Nord Stream 2 and will continue to do so,” the prime minister remarked. According to Shmygal, the project poses not only a risk to Ukraine, but the whole of Europe.

His remarks come amid a tense impasse between Moscow and Kiev, with Western leaders sounding the alarm repeatedly in the last few months, claiming that Russia’s armed forces could wage a full-blown offensive against its neighbor. The Kremlin, however, has repeatedly denied that it has any plans to launch an attack.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, once given the all-clear by regulators in Berlin, will be able to transport up to 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Siberia to Western Europe via the Baltic Sea. Its construction work was finished in September but the line is yet to be given the go-ahead to begin operating. Approval of the project was suspended in mid-November by the German Federal Network Agency over a regulatory issue.

In November, Kiev’s top diplomat Dmitry Kuleba insisted that Ukraine’s lobbying efforts, and that of its partners, had stalled the link from being up and running. “Nord Stream 2 should have been operating and earning money a long time ago, but the fact that it still does not work and we are fighting against it is the result of our common endeavors,” he said.

The US and Ukraine have accused Moscow of weaponizing gas as a political tool rather than using it for purely economic purposes. Washington has imposed several rounds of sanctions on the pipeline.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, has previously attempted to assuage concerns of any manipulation to major gas supply plans. “We should not put anyone in a difficult position, including Ukraine, despite all the complexities related to Russian-Ukrainian relations today,” he said.

Germany, where the pipeline terminates, also pushed ahead with construction in the face of opposition from Kiev and sanctions from the US.