Putin on Nord Stream 2: it would be a pity that the EU fails to defend its interests

International22: 41 03.10.2018 (updated 22:44 03.10.2018) Short URLReading the completion of the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, President Putin warned Europe against a manifestation of weakness that would prevent it from defending its interests in the energy field.It would be a pity that Europe is weak and fails to defend its interests during the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project to link Russia to Europe under the Baltic Sea, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday after meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in St. Petersburg.
"Ceding to external pressures, Bulgaria has abandoned the South Stream project. But she regrets it now and talks about the possibility of getting our gas via the Turkish Stream gas pipeline. I would not want Europe to look like Bulgaria, have the same weakness and be unable to defend its national interests, "Putin said during a press conference.
The Russian President assured Kurz that Russia remains the most reliable supplier of energy products in Europe.
"Russia has been and will always be the best supplier, including because our pipelines go straight from the source, Yamal and Siberia […]. This year, we plan to sell 200 billion cubic meters of gas in Europe, "Putin said.
Sebastian Kurz said his country and other European countries were interested in the implementation of Nord Stream 2.
"European participants in this project support it and want to make it happen. But there are some legal issues that need to be addressed and it is also important to respect the interests of Ukraine, a country of significant transit, "said the Austrian Chancellor.
The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two gas pipeline lines with a total capacity of 55 billion m3 of gas per year, which will link the Russian coastline to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Both lines are due to be commissioned by 2019, the date of expiry of the Russian-Ukrainian gas transit agreement to Europe. The project has an estimated cost of nearly 10 billion euros.
The new 1.200 km long pipeline runs through the exclusive economic zones of the countries bordering the Baltic Sea: Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Only Denmark has not yet given the green light to laying the pipeline.
The United States demands that European countries withdraw from the project and threaten to adopt sanctions against those who do not. They intend to replace Russian gas with their liquefied natural gas that they want to sell by building LNG terminals in Europe.