Russia backed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, as it is currently configured, doesn’t support the goal of the EU and doesn’t support energy security in Europe, Amos Hochstein, the US Department of State special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, said in an interview with Greek news website Ekathimerini.
“You have two halves of Europe. You have one half that is dependent on one supplier of energy and doesn’t have a free market in energy, and another half that already does have that. Building Nord Stream 2 at the moment will keep that imbalance for the next several decades,” Hochstein said.
The European Commission has to address the concerns that are raised by member states, which have really good reasons to be worried, Hochstein believes.
“It would also have a terribly negative impact on Ukraine and Slovakia, who rely on the transit fees for a significant part of their budget. Just to take that away overnight would be quite dramatic and have a big impact not only economically but also politically on Ukraine and Slovakia,” he said.
Hochstein added that what the US can do is to ensure that they have a policy that no country can do a project that would have such a negative impact on the energy security of the EU or the economic viability of the Union.
The Nord Stream 2 projects includes the construction of two lines of the offshore gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, in addition to the existing two lines.
The project is to be implemented by the engineering company New European Pipeline AG. The stakes of partners in Nord Stream 2 AG will be distributed as follows: Gazprom will hold 50 percent, while BASF, E.ON, Engie, OMV and Shell will own 10 percent each.