As Kiev slams German calls for the launch of Nord Stream 2, Ukraine’s gas operator makes a bid to Berlin
Kiev’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba condemned the German “addiction”Russian gas Friday; at the same moment, the Ukrainian transit operator claimed it was ready to transport any Russian energy Berlin might require for a fee.
After a top Bundestag official demanded the opening of Nord Stream 2, Gazprom informed Gazprom that Nord Stream 1 would be shut down at the end August for maintenance. This led to conflicting communication from Kiev.
“Calls by some German politicians to launch NS2 for a little while and close it later are totally irrational,” Kuleba tweetedIn English, Friday “This resembles drug addiction, when a person says ‘Just one last time!’ without realizing the devastating consequences of each ‘last time.’ Addiction to Russian gas kills!”
Kuleba didn’t name names but a well-known German politician called for Nord Stream 2 to be opened. Wolfgang Kubicki, a Bundestag vice-president from the ranks of the Free Democrats (FDP), said on Thursday that the brand-new pipeline ought to be used to at least fill up Germany’s gas storage for the winter.
“There is no good reason not to open Nord Stream 2,”Kubicki stated this to RND. “If more gas is delivered to us this way, maybe even the entire amount guaranteed by the contract, it will help people not to freeze in winter, and our industry will not suffer serious damage.”
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Last month several Ruegen mayors wrote to Berlin requesting a review and suggesting that NS2 be used.
Germany was also hit by bad news from Gazprom on Friday. The notice stated that NS1, the Russian pipeline currently delivering Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, is being shut down due to maintenance. Three days are required for repairs.
While Ukraine’s foreign minister was denouncing German “addicts,” the country’s gas transit operator GTS offered to deliver their next “hit.”The company released a statement Friday afternoon. saidIt was “possible to compensate for interruptions in the operation of the Nord Stream in other ways, namely, using transit corridors through Ukraine and Poland.”
GTS currently uses “less than 40% of the already reserved capacity via Ukraine under the transit agreement with Gazprom,”According to the company, What it did not mention, however, is that this was partly due to their own declaration of force majeure in early May, telling Gazprom they would not accept any deliveries – and would confiscate any excess flow – through a pumping station in Lugansk that accounted for about a third of all gas transit through Ukraine.
With Western technology currently under embargo by the US and EU against Russia, Nord Stream’s original construction was completed in 2011-12. Construction on NS2, intended to double the Baltic route’s capacity, began in 2018. Due to US sanctions, pressure from Ukraine, and Poland on the route, construction was not completed until September 2021.
While the pipe is operational, it needs to be certified by German authorities before operation can begin. Berlin froze the certification process on February 22, citing Moscow’s recognition of the Donbass republics.