Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently announced that he is in the process of creating a consortium of EU companies in Brussels who will help build support and ultimately stop to the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, which is set to carry natural gas from Vyborg in the Russian Federation to the German city of Greifswald via the Baltic Sea.
“Nord Stream-2 is an absolutely political project against Ukraine, which has no economic component, trying to take away almost $3 billion away from the Ukrainian budget,” Poroshenko wrote in a Ukrainian language report posted on Medium, an online platform for social journalism. “That is why we are now creating a group in the European Union, which should stop the Nord Stream-2. That is why we are actively negotiating with Germany. We invite them to create an international consortium for the management of the gas transportation system of Ukraine.”
According to Poroshenko, the construction of Nord Stream-2 will cause severe economic strain for Ukraine by denying it an amount of money that equals the country’s entire annual defence expenditures. Poroshenko did not provide any further details about the identities of the group be formed, or what sort of policy tools they’ll be equipped with when they begin their operation in Brussels, but he did emphasise that the US is also determined to stop the project in order to ensure that the existing sanctions regime remains in place.
Nord Stream-2 is designed to bring Russian gas to Europe by using a newly-built pipeline that runs under the Baltic Sea. The project passes through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. In March, Germany granted permits to Gazprom – the Russian energy giant with a majority share in Nord Stream-2 – to finish with the pipeline’s construction. The move followed similar approvals by the governments of Finland and Sweden.
Ukraine, Poland, and some other countries in Eastern Europe have strongly opposed the Nord Stream-2 project as they have warned that it will increase the EU’s dependence on Russian energy and undermine the bloc’s strategic interests.