Merkel insists Russia must build Nord Stream-2 despite sanctions
MOSCOW/BERLIN/PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, Jan 13 (PRIME) -- Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline has to be built despite the U.S. sanctions, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who said that the project is postponed for several months.
УCompletion of the construction has, of course, been postponed for several months. But I hope that the works will be completed either until the end of this year or the first quarter next year and the pipeline will work,Ф Putin said, adding that Russia will cope without foreign investors.
Merkel said: УThis is firstly an economic project, we think it is rightЕ I think that after discussion that Nord stream-2 can be completed despite the sanctions, the Russian president mentioned the deadline. There is a certain delay but it still can be completed. I want to emphasize that regardless of all political debates with the U.S., we do not think that exterritorial sanctions are right and this is why we still support the project, like we used to, this is, in fact, an economic project,Ф Merkel said.
Merkel also said that she is happy about signing of a gas transit agreement across Ukraine.
Putin said that Russia appreciates GermanyТs responsible position on the Nord Stream-2 pipeline.
The Nord Stream-2 project envisages construction of two lines of a natural gas pipeline with an annual capacity of up to 55 billion cubic meters, running from the Russian shore to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Russian gas giant Gazprom builds the pipeline together with GermanyТs E.ON and BASF, Royal Dutch Shell, AustriaТs OMV, and FranceТs Engie.
On December 21, the builder of the Nord Stream-2 suspended operationst due to the threat of U.S. sanctions and withdrew all its vessels engaged in laying the pipeline from the Baltic Sea after U.S. President Donald Trump had signed a defense budget envisaging spending on counteraction against Russia in various areas including sanctions against the Nord Stream-2.
CEO of Gazprom Alexei Miller told channel Rossiya 1 on January 12 that Russia will complete Nord Stream-2 using its own resources but the process will take longer. УWe are solving the technological risks, using own capacities, so Nord Stream-2 will be completed. Of course, it will take more time but we see no technological barriers to do this on our own,Ф he said.