London: British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has called on European countries to take a stance against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the construction of which was officially completed in September.
“I want our friends across Europe to join us. That means standing together, for example in opposing the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. It risks undermining European security by allowing Russia to tighten its grip on those nations who rely on its gas, despite the pandemic reminding us about the importance of having diverse supply chains to avoid being strategically dependent on unreliable partners,” Truss said in her article published by The Telegraph on Saturday.
She called for stronger trade ties with countries that “follow the rules and allow free-market economies to thrive.”
Russian energy giant Gazprom announced in September that it was ready to pump natural gas to Germany via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and was waiting for clearance from the German energy regulator. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this week that there is still no timeline for launching the pipeline.
Commercial supplies via the pipeline can start once Nord Stream 2 is certified as an independent operator in compliance with the EU Gas Directive. The German regulator has to make a decision on certification by January 2022. Late last month, the German economic ministry announced that it had completed the analysis of supplies safety as part of the certification procedure and submitted it to the German Federal Network Agency. The ministry established that certification will not jeopardise the safety of gas supplies to Germany and the EU.
Ukraine, which currently has a gas transit agreement with Russia, has been a vocal opponent of the pipeline, fearing revenue losses after its commissioning, and claims that the pipeline threatens the energy security of Ukraine and Europe. Moscow, however, has repeatedly said that it would continue relying on Ukraine’s transport capacities to pump gas to Europe in the coming years despite building additional pipelines.