Ukraine, Baltics Warn Nord Stream-2 Poses Risk to EU Energy Security
A planned "Nord Stream 2" pipeline will hurt the EU's security and help Russia control the bloc's energy markets, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk opined on Thursday.
He called on the EU Commission "to seriously get into the issue" and prevent Russia from facilitating "a bottleneck".
Yatsenyuk added his country would incur losses to the tune of EUR 1.8 B a year if the pipeline is completed.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Baltic counterparts, he said Poland and Slovakia's budgets will be impacted by reducing their roles as gas transit countries.
In his words, quoted by Russian business daily RBC, the countries would lose USD 0.3 B and USD 0.8 B in revenues every year, respectively.
He thus echoed remarks by Robin Dunnigan, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy, who on Thursday warned "cutting off all gas transit through Ukraine would deprive it of .2 billion in annual revenue."
"North Stream-2 actually threatens not only Ukraine's survivability and their resources, but it is a risk to fuel diversification in Europe, especially southeastern Europe," Reuters quoted him as saying.
PMs of Baltic nations joined Yatsenyuk's calls on Brussels to look into the project in more detail, with Estonia's head of government, Taavi Roivas, urging a probe into the compatibility of Nord Stream with EU law.
He announced the PMs had "serious suspicion" that the project didn't comply with the Third Energy Package - a set of regulations aimed at establishing common EU energy rules.
Nord Stream-2 would virtually double the capacity of the existing pipeline delivering gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea (currently at 55 billion cubic meters per year). The new project, however, will also bring direct supplies to other countries such as the UK and France.
Meanwhile, EU Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic opined in Brussels on Thursday that Eastring, another gas pipeline project pursued by Slovakia's gas company Eustream, has to become one of the Union's "priority projects."
At a Bratislava forum, Sefcovic added the list of priority projects was "at a final stage" of preparation. Eastring's inclusion in the list would help set aside additional EU funding for the project.
The proposed pipeline would also carry gas to Bulgaria via Romania and Hungary.
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