Lavrov and Maas discussed completion of Nord Stream 2 construction

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that at the talks with his German counterpart Heiko Maas he discussed the situation around the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, taking into account the US sanctions pressure.

“From the economic bloc, we focused on the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Of course, we took into account the unprecedented sanctions pressure from the United States. We appreciate Berlin’s position, a principled position in support of this exclusively commercial initiative, which will help diversify natural gas supply routes and strengthen the energy security of Europe on the basis of the assessments that Europe itself, the European countries themselves make, and not on the basis of assessments that are made from overseas”, – Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with the Foreign Minister of Germany.

Earlier, the German Uniper, one of the European partners of Nord Stream 2, admitted in its financial statements that due to the expected new US sanctions, the project may be delayed or not completed at all. However, Uniper CEO Andreas Schirenbeck emphasized during a conference call on Tuesday that the company still believes in the completion of the project and only warned investors about the risks.

The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of a gas pipeline with a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from the coast of the Russian Federation through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It is being implemented by Nord Stream 2 AG with the sole shareholder – Gazprom. European partners – Royal Dutch Shell, OMV, Engie, Uniper and Wintershall – are financing the project in total by 50%, that is, up to 950 million euros each.

The US is actively opposing the project, promoting its liquefied natural gas in the EU. The United States imposed sanctions against Nord Stream 2 in December, demanding companies to immediately stop laying the pipeline. Swiss Allseas almost immediately announced the suspension of such work.

In July, the US State Department published recommendations under the CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), including Nord Stream 2 and the second string of Turkish Stream. These actions put investments and other actions related to Russian export pipelines at risk of US sanctions. In addition, in July, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate approved their options for the 2021 defense budget, which contains expanded sanctions against the project.