Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gazprom Viktor Zubkov expressed confidence that the construction of Nord Stream 2 will be completed in 2021. According to him, the project is 90-92% ready, and active work on the construction of the pipeline continues. The top manager also responded negatively to a question about a possible revision of agreements with Kiev and indicated his intention to continue transit gas supplies in the volumes provided for by the existing contracts.
“The work is in full swing, there are very few left. Of course, this year it will be completed, definitely. It’s a pity for the lost time, but it happened, ”Zubkov said.
Commenting on media reports that Germany allegedly raised the issue of strengthening the energy sector in Ukraine during negotiations with the United States, a top manager of Gazprom noted: “Legally, all contracts have been concluded with both Ukraine and other companies.” He also answered negatively when asked about a possible revision of agreements with Kiev.
“The main thing is to finish Nord Stream 2 and continue (supply. – RT) those volumes that are provided for in the contracts. Deliver through Ukraine, and no one is addressing these issues, “- quoted by TASS Zubkov.
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In early March, the top manager of the German concern Uniper (the financial partner of SP-2) said that the company was looking forward to the completion of the project and considered it important for ensuring energy security in Europe.
“We are looking forward to when it will be fully completed … We are closely monitoring the progress of the pipeline construction. We believe that the situation is quite good – Russia promises to complete the construction, we do not see any technical risks, ”TASS quotes a representative of the concern.
Laying of the gas pipeline, suspended in December 2019 (then, due to the risk of US sanctions, the Swiss Allseas withdrew from the project) resumed in December 2020, when the Russian pipelayer Fortuna built a small section of the pipeline in the exclusive economic zone of Germany. And since the beginning of February 2021, the ship has been working in the waters of Denmark. It is expected that at the end of March, in the exclusive economic zone of this Scandinavian country, work will begin on the laying of the second string of Nord Stream 2. The pipelayer “Akademik Chersky”, which is undergoing running and pre-operational tests in the Kaliningrad region, is to join the construction.
Against this background, Washington continues to put pressure on the project, threatening to impose sanctions against companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken makes at least a weekly statement demanding that work be stopped and reiterating the Joe Biden administration’s position that the new pipeline is a “bad deal” for Europe.
In an interview with Euronews following his visit to Brussels, the secretary of state reiterated the administration’s position, saying that Washington and Berlin have “real differences” on this issue.
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In turn, the FRG authorities consistently advocate the need to complete the construction of the gas pipeline and call it an exclusively commercial project. Moreover, speaking about the sanctions policy, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a recent interview with Deutsche Welle that Berlin does not consider it right to economically isolate Russia.
The multifaceted efforts of the United States to contain Russia have led to the accumulation of tensions in bilateral relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.
“Tensions continued to build up in relations with the United States as a result of Washington’s multi-faceted efforts to contain Russia (including, among other things, the introduction of new sanctions and the creation of additional obstacles to the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream projects in 2020)”, – said in the review of the Russian Foreign Ministry at the end of 2020.
Let us add that at the beginning of the week Gazprom reported: against the backdrop of cold weather, gas reserves in European underground storage facilities (UGS) fell to 31%. According to the Gas Infrastructure Europe Association, by March 21, 24.5 billion cubic meters less remained in the UGS facilities than by the same date in 2020.
The energy company clarified that reserves in Austria dropped to 29%, in Germany – to 26%, in the Netherlands – to 24%, and in France – to 18%.
“Consumers have taken 64.2 billion cubic meters of gas from European UGS facilities. To replenish this volume, it will be necessary to pump at least 54% more gas than last year, ”Gazprom said.
“The rise of gas from storage continues. Thus, in the summer period Europe will need a large additional volume of gas, ”the company said.
Source site russian.rt.com