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    Ukrainian MPs, Naftogaz protest Nord Stream 2 agreement


Kyiv has found plenty to object to in the German-US undertakings regarding Nord Stream 2 and Ukrainian security.

by: William Powell

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Ukrainian MPs, Naftogaz protest Nord Stream 2 agreement

More than a dozen Ukrainian deputies have written in protest against the July 21 US-Germany agreement to counter any attempts by Russia to use gas flows through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to exert political pressure.

In paragraphs selectively quoted in English and posted on LinkedIn July 22 by the CEO of Ukrainian pipeline operator GTSOU Sergiy Makogon, they thanked the EU, the UK, US, Canada "and other democracies" for countering Russian threats to Ukraine's statehood, integrity and sovereignty.

Along with the claim that Nord Stream 2 makes Europe dependent on Russia and is a tool for projecting Russian power in the Baltic Sea, they said that Moscow's aim was to exacerbate and strengthen discord within the democratic European communities.

The CEO of state gas company Naftogaz Yuri Vitrenko also reacted negatively to the deal. “How can the country's critical security threats be offset? Ukraine is already the target of Russian military aggression. If there is no physical transit of gas through Ukraine, the risk of a full-scale Russian military offensive will increase significantly. Russia will expect Europe to simply express deep concern over events in Ukraine as long as Moscow’s military actions do not affect European consumers,” he told Voice of America

Vitrenko expressed doubts about the reliability of the discussed guarantees regarding German “gas sanctions” in case of full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine and said the German regulator should refuse to certify the pipeline as an independent operator – an acceptable alternative to full ownership unbundling under European energy law.

Nord Stream 1 carries 55bn m³/year, as will Nord Stream 2 if it is allowed all onshore pipeline capacity; an onshore route through Poland carries 30bn m³/yr and Ukraine is contracted to carry 40bn m³/yr until the end of 2024, for which it receives a few billion dollars/yr on ship-or-pay terms. TurkStream is also now operational and delivering Russian gas from Russia into southern Europe by way of Turkey.

The Germany-Washington deal does not identify more than $70mn in immediate support measures for Ukraine, although Germany does commit to do what it can to extend the transit deal by a decade. Ukraine next month marks its 30th anniversary as an independent state and it stopped buying gas directly from Russia several years ago.