Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on Europe to block the construction of the pipeline Nord Stream 2 on the grounds that it is ‘anti-Ukrainian and anti-European’ and would deprive Kiev of up to $2bn in transit revenues.
The 55bn m³-capacity Nord Stream 2 pipeline would run along the bed of the Baltic Sea to the German coast, bypassing Ukraine. It would be built, laid and implemented by the New European Pipeline consortium consisting of Gazprom (which holds a 51% controlling stake), BASF subsidiary Wintershall, E.ON, Gasunie, ENGIE and OMV.
Gazprom and the Russian authorities have repeatedly stated that after its current transit contract with Ukraine runs out in 2020, it will stop using Ukraine as a transit country altogether, presumably compelling Ukraine to meet its energy supplies through reverse gas agreements with its European neighbours, including Slovakia.
Its Prime Minister Robert Fico was even more forthright in his criticism. “For months, there have (been) talks at the European Council about the need to help Ukraine stay a gas transit country, to help it through difficult winter months,” he told journalists last week. “Suddenly an announcement comes from Gazprom that it has signed a contact with companies from western EU member states about building another branch of Nord Stream. They are making idiots of us…..They have betrayed an EU member state.”