European Union (EU)
Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department Anastasia Fyodorova’s answer to a media question on criticism of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project
Question: The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project initiated by Gazprom and a number of major Western European energy companies has recently come under unfounded criticism both by some EU countries and the United States. It is being painted only in a negative light as damaging the energy security of the EU and undermining energy reforms in Ukraine. What could you say about this?
Anastasia Fyodorova: We and many of our EU partners consider this project extremely important for pipeline gas supplies to the EU because European customers’ need for this gas will continue growing as its production in Europe is falling and the demand for it is stable. We have emphasised more than once that Nord Stream 2 is a strictly commercial project. Proceeding from market principles, everything should be determined by the economic appeal of various proposals for customers. Apparently, our US partners do not reason like this. Considering that their LNG is much more expensive than Russian pipeline gas, they decided to resort to non-economic methods to fight for the European gas market. This is the main reason for the zero tolerance of the Nord Stream 2 project on the part of US Congress and the American gas lobby.
The most cynical methods of unfair competition are being used when the main task is to vilify the competitor and influence the contractor. Thus, the latter may be intimidated with sanctions into buying a more expensive commodity from such critics. They do not admit the fact that a change in the market structure will change prices on gas coming to Europe. We are convinced that the opponents of the Nord Stream 2 project are worried not about Europe’s energy security but about their own advantage or simply want to harm Russia. Needless to say, this may be an attempt to kill two birds with one stone. Indicatively, attacks on the project are made for the most part by politicians from a limited number of EU countries. As far as we know, leading European energy companies have a completely different opinion.
As for Ukraine, the concept of the Nord Stream 2 construction does not imply cessation of Russian gas transit via operating pipelines. Continuation of transit would be possible only if Kiev comes up with competitive pipeline tariffs and levels risks, including renunciation of all grievances and absurd lawsuits against Gazprom.