The Ukrainian authorities are creating a group in the European Union to halt construction of a second line of Nord Stream 2, the Russian gas pipeline intended to bypass Ukraine. The group will also negotiate with Germany on the creation of an international consortium for the management of the Ukrainian gas transportation system, Interfax-Ukraine reports, citing the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko
“Nord Stream 2 is an absolutely political project against Ukraine, which has no economic component, [and is] trying to take away from Ukraine a budget of almost $3 billion. However, I am convinced that with joint, united efforts we will be able to stop it... That is why we are now creating a group in the European Union, which should stop the Nord Stream 2. That is why we are actively negotiating with Germany. We invite them to create an international consortium for the management of the gas transportation system (GTS) of Ukraine," the Ukrainian President wrote in an article on the social journalism platform Medium.
At the same time, he stressed that the condition for Germany's participation in the international consortium for the management of the Ukrainian GTS "is [to] stop Nord Stream 2."
"Let's say that our partners from the United States are also determined, and no one will oppose U.S. sanctions," Poroshenko said.
The Ukrainian President also noted that he will not disclose all the tools that Ukraine is using to stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2.
"But I want to emphasize separately that this is very important for us, and I hope that the construction will be stopped," he added.
Poroshenko explained the scale of the threat of Ukraine losing $ 3 billion from the introduction of Nord Stream 2.
"This is the amount being spent today on the entire defense of Ukraine. Do you understand why it is being built? Not to diversify economic factors; but rather, to leave Ukraine without money to finance our defense," the President added.
He noted that a second factor that must be taken into account is the factor of security, which will cease to function if Russia gets the opportunity to supply natural gas to Europe while bypassing Ukraine.
"Why does Putin hesitate before attacking our state? When we had almost no army in 2014, why did he not go further? Because if, as a result of the aggression, the gas transportation network is stopped, then Putin will stop receiving payments from Europe for gas pumped for transit through Ukraine; and this amount last year alone was $30 billion. Russia will not live without that $30 billion. When they bypass [Ukraine], this security factor will stop working," Poroshenko stressed.