Statement of Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

The last section in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline’s second line was welded the other day. It remains to dock the gas pipeline sections, one of which runs from the coast of Germany, and the other runs from the territorial waters of Denmark, and then to commission them. Gazprom confirmed that the first gas via the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be sent to the European market by late 2021.

In other words, the construction of one of the world’s largest energy infrastructure projects is nearing completion. It is now clear to everyone, including to Nord Stream 2 detractors who fiercely opposed the construction, that it is impossible to stop it. It’s time to stop obstructing this important project. The time has come to agree on reasonable and mutually beneficial operation of the pipeline.

The timeline for the first commercial distribution depends on German regulators. We look forward to millions of European consumers receiving Russian gas soon via the shortest, most economical and environmentally friendly route. The carbon footprint of gas transport through Nord Stream 2 is more than five times lower than alternative routes. The relevant materials on this have already been provided. Strategically, Nord Stream 2 will improve Europe’s energy security for decades to come. The pipeline was built with the latest technology and meets all international standards.

For many years now, we have been providing clarifications, taking questions, responding to criticism and debunking fake news, including that Nord Stream 2 is a purely business project, and that Russia has no plans to use it otherwise. We truly hope that Nord Stream 2 will stop being used as fodder for all sorts of political speculations, fabricated news, information campaigns, or a pretext for illegal restrictive measures, and will stop being part of the agenda of confrontation.

Taking into account the fact that major European energy companies participated in financing the project and that hundreds of European contractors were engaged in the construction process, Nord Stream 2, just like its predecessor Nord Stream 1 is, in fact, a positive example of mutually beneficial partnership between Russia and Europe, which we are willing to build based on the principles of respect for one another’s interests and mutual benefit.

I would like Europeans, the residents of different countries and cities in Europe, to hear what we have to say. So often they have been victimised by their media which distorts data and which, unfortunately, goes along with the information campaigns that are carried out by lobbyists. At this point, we hope that European residents, citizens of European countries, will hear, understand and realise that they will benefit from this joint international project.

With regard to attempts to tie the early phases of the normal operation of Nord Stream 2 in with other stories, we, first, continue to view them as cases of illegal politicisation of energy cooperation, which fundamentally contradicts market principles. Second, as President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed at a meeting with German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, we stand ready and willing to continue gas transit across Ukraine. However, this is a purely business matter that depends on many factors, including the volumes of future European purchases and the competitiveness of alternative routes.

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