Naftogaz raises monopoly concerns over NS 2: media
The head of Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz told the Interfax news agency on June 24 that Germany was approached on possible violations of European laws regarding the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.
Russia holds out the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea to Germany as a boon to European energy security as it avoids geopolitically sensitive territory in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials, however, argue the pipeline starves it of transit fees from the vast network of Soviet-era pipelines to European that run through its territory.
Yuriy Vitrenko, the CEO of Naftogaz, said he initiated conversations over Nord Stream 2 with German officials.
“My approach is as follows: before we proceed with discussing what you would like to discuss, that is, completion of the Nord Stream 2 construction, I suggest we first discuss what we would like to address, namely Gazprom’s violation of EU anti-monopoly laws,” he told the Interfax news agency.
Russian energy company Gazprom controls both the natural gas supplies and the networks that carry it, raising concerns about European energy security from US and European officials. The company Nord Stream 2 AG, which counts a German national as its CEO, is the official project leader.
With US officials mulling their position on a pipeline that is close to completion, Vitrenko said he hoped Washington was aware of the concerns about Gazprom’s monopoly over European natural gas.
US president Joe Biden has backed away from heaping additional sanctions pressure on entities involved in Nord Stream 2 as the project is nearly completed.