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Ukraine Won’t Stop Fighting the Nord Stream Deal

1 48 1
28.07.2021

The Biden administration has stated that it has formally ended its opposition to Russia completing the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The pipeline, which is more than 90 percent complete, is set to double the capacity of Russian natural gas flows into Germany through the Baltic Sea—bypassing the existing Ukrainian pipeline.

The United States has taken the German side against Kyiv in this dispute. The operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will make Ukrainian infrastructure superfluous, thus allowing the Kremlin to forgo paying Kiev around $2 billion in annual transit fees and heightening security threats for Ukraine, which will lose a potential source of leverage over Moscow.

The Biden administration has stated that it has formally ended its opposition to Russia completing the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The pipeline, which is more than 90 percent complete, is set to double the capacity of Russian natural gas flows into Germany through the Baltic Sea—bypassing the existing Ukrainian pipeline.

The United States has taken the German side against Kyiv in this dispute. The operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will make Ukrainian infrastructure superfluous, thus allowing the Kremlin to forgo paying Kiev around $2 billion in annual transit fees and heightening security threats for Ukraine, which will lose a potential source of leverage over Moscow.

Yuriy Vitrenko, the CEO of Ukrainian national gas company Naftogaz, was in Washington last week leading a delegation in a frenzied schedule of meetings over energy policy as the Ukrainians and their allies fought a losing lobbying argument against the deal. When I reached Vitrenko by phone as he boarded his flight back to Kyiv, he sounded defiant: “We can’t see why the U.S.-German statement should change our position or effect our fight against Nord Stream 2. It is a security question for Ukraine and we will continue explaining why this is so and how American sanctions can stop the pipeline.”

The current gas transit agreement between Kyiv and Moscow is set to expire in 2024, but will almost certainly not last that........

© Foreign Policy


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