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Ambassador sees decision on N Stream 2 certification after June

BRUSSELS, Feb 9 (PRIME) -- The European Commission will very likely expand the deadline for consideration of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines certification to the maximum possible time of four months with the final decision to emerge no earlier than in July, Russian ambassador to the E.U. Vladimir Chizhov told PRIME on Wednesday.

He said that geopolitics interferes constantly -- Nord Stream 2 AG, the pipelines Switzerland-registered operator, had to create a German subsidiary, because Switzerland is not a European enough country for the E.U., and the German regulator has to resume certification and finish it soon in accordance with the regulations procedure. Then, it is to submit the decision to the European Commission.

I am absolutely sure that consideration of this case in the European Commission will be manually prolonged to the maximum possible time of four months. Which means that a decision on the Nord Stream 2 will not emerge earlier than in July, he said.

Nevertheless, chances for the pipeline to pass certification are high, as the European consumers need the gas. This is necessary for the European consumers in the first place, not for Russia. We will definitely find a destination and a way to sell gas if we suppose that there is no Nord Stream 2, Chizhov said.

Russian gas giant Gazprom doesnt have nor is obliged to raise gas exports to Europe. It already supplies an additional amount of gas to Europe, even though it is not as large an addition as some would like, he said.

Russia could raise gas exports if there were demand, but high prices hurt demand.

Supplies through a gas pipeline cannot be pumped back. Potential buyers in Europe calculate their spending using the spot prices, and they obviously think that they should wait out the current peak, he said.

The prices will go down sooner or later, nobody doubts that, and Europe has gas in storages. If the winter were colder and if the reserves were depleted faster, the European companies would have bought additional gas even at high prices. But the winter is mild now, and there are no orders, and if there are no orders, there are no supplies.

The current price crisis was unavoidable due to the policy of the European Commission. It wanted the E.U. to move from long-term gas contracts and to the spot market. Russia was adamant that it would do the E.U. no good, as serious price fluctuations always happen on the markets, he said.

When asked about veiled accusations that it was Russia that caused the current price crisis, Chizhov said the European officials pointed their fingers at Russia because of the problem with Ukraine. They are doing that only to prepare the public opinion for introduction of the allegedly forced anti-Russian sanctions and the fact that people would have to burn wood to heat their houses due to the decisions of the European authorities.

And the E.U. would have to burn wood, as it is unable to replace Russian natural gas completely. The European Commission is discussing possible expansion of supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) with the U.S. and other countries, but the U.S. is unable to deliver the amount that would cover demand.

Besides that, the U.S. gas sphere is privatized, and they ship LNG to Asia when the prices there are higher. This is exactly what happened last year, when little U.S. LNG reached to Europe, he said, adding that the LNG exports of Qatar and some other countries are contracted for years to come.

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09.02.2022 08:37
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