Vice-Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, said that Germany will not give its consent to the construction of the pipeline "Nord Stream-2" if the gas is not guaranteed to reach the countries of Eastern Europe, Reuters reported. Gabriel urged that Poland’s concerns regarding the construction of a gas pipeline be taken seriously.
On January 18th, Polish President Andrzej Duda said at a joint briefing with the Chairman of the European Council, Donald Tusk, that Nord Stream-2 undermines the cohesion of the EU and is motivated by political factors to a much greater extent than economic factors. "We do not agree with such a capital investment," said Duda.
The project has been criticized primarily by Eastern European member states of the EU. At the end of November last year, Slovakian Minister of Economy Vazil Hudak noted that the country’s losses from the pipeline will amount to 400 million dollars a year. The government normally receives money from the transit of Russian gas to Western Europe.
On December 20, 2015, Gabriel noted that Germany was interested in the construction of the pipeline. He emphasized that the project could be economically beneficial not only for Germany but also for France and other EU member states. However, its implementation depended on satisfying the "political conditions".
The Shareholders’ Agreement about the Nord Stream-2 project implies that the enhancement of the first Nord Stream pipeline was signed in early September in the framework of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The structure of the new consortium includes Gazprom, E.ON, Shell, BASF/Wintershall, OMV and Engie. Two new lines of a total annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters, as well as existing ones, will pass from the Russian coast on the bottom of the Baltic Sea to Germany. Five foreign partners received 10 percent each of the joint venture while Gazprom retained 50 percent. In early December, Gazprom reported that the commissioning of North Stream-2 is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2019.