Ukraine saw the threat of “Russian invasion” due to “Nord Stream 2”

The commissioning of Nord Stream 2 increases the chances of a “Russian invasion” of Ukraine, said the head of Naftogaz, Yuriy Vitrenko.

“(If) there is no physical transit (of gas) through Ukraine, it increases the chances of a full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine with all its consequences,” Vitrenko said in an interview with Financia Times. According to him, the launch of the gas pipeline will relieve Moscow of a “deterrent”, which could make Ukraine more vulnerable to a possible “Russian invasion”.

Nord Stream 2 is a gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, bypassing the Baltic States, Poland and Ukraine. The construction of the project was completed on September 10 – a year and a half longer than planned due to the imposition of sanctions. The operator of the Nord Stream 2 project (owned by Gazprom) has already launched technical gas through the first string of the gas pipeline, and the second string may be filled by the end of the year. Now Gazprom is to certify the gas pipeline – first at the Federal Grid Agency of Germany, then at the European Commission. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov argued that permission to launch the gas pipeline from the regulator could be obtained by early 2022.

Ukraine has repeatedly opposed the construction of Nord Stream 2, claiming that Russia is using it as a geopolitical weapon: Kiev calculated that excluding the country from transit supplies of Russian gas to Europe would deprive it of annual revenues of $ 2 billion.

Moscow notes that the project is of a commercial, not political nature, and claims that the agreement on gas transit to Europe through Ukraine will remain in force for the entire period of its validity, that is, until 2024. In addition, as stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin , Russia is ready to continue gas transit through Ukraine after this period, taking into account the demand for gas in Europe. On October 26, the head of the Ukrainian GTS Operator, Sergei Makogon, said that Kiev had offered Russia to extend the gas transit contract now, without waiting for the expiration of the current agreement. According to him, the Russian side has not yet responded to the proposals.

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