Cutting Ukraine off from billions of dollars in Russian gas transit fees by striking new deals to export supplies through pipelines that bypass the country could lead to another bloody conflict.
The new Baltic Sea Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany increased the chance of an outright full scale war between NATO-backed Ukraine and Russia. Kiev’s political move to disrupt Russian gas to Europe over the last 10 years now backfires big-time.
Construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which connects the gas fields of Siberia to consumers in Western Europe, was completed in September, 2021.
Running from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, it can transport up to 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. It is now undergoing final tests and awaiting approval from regulators in Berlin to begin operating.
Kiev has claimed that the pipeline will leave Ukraine at least $3 billion out of pocket in transit fees currently paid by Moscow if the overground network that runs through the country is no longer used and/or needed.
The move could see Ukraine unable to pay for its armed military forces. Now the Russian project can suddenly be seen as a geopolitical weapon.
Moscow has insisted there are no plans to turn off the taps, and that current agreements will be honored. Any future deals, the Kremlin added, are a commercial matter for Gazprom.
The US regime has consistently supported Ukraine in the row, imposing sanctions on companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 construction.
Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser on energy security at the US State Department, called on Kiev in September to look to the future and focus on advancing its own gas networks, rather than opposing the new Russian pipeline.
Look, I think we have to shift the process from talking about what we all wish would have happened, that the project would not be completed, to the reality now that it’s going to be completed,” he said.
We also have to start working with Ukraine together on transitioning the energy economy here to match what’s happening in the rest of the world, and especially in Europe.
RT. com / ABC Flash-Point News 2021.