Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Will Be Built Regardless of Obstruction by US – Lavrov

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be completed despite the threat of US sanctions because European nations have a clear economic interest in the project, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on a TV show aired Sunday.
“It [the project] will be completed despite all these threats. Firstly, I am convinced that Europeans understand their commercial interest. Secondly, they are interested in ensuring long-term energy security. And thirdly, of course, they have been humiliated. We have heard statements, including from Berlin, which show that our European partners still have a sense of dignity," Lavrov said in the program “The Big Game” aired by Russia's Channel One.

Lavrov assured the talk show host that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be completed just as the TurkSteam, adding that TrukStream is set for a full launch in two or three weeks.

He also said that Russia will definitely respond to new US sanctions against it and will take them into account when building relations with Washington.

"We will respond to sanctions, but in a way that we do not harm ourselves. But we will respond for sure. And, of course, we will take this into account building all our relations," Lavrov said in the program "The Big Game" on Channel One.

Lavrov said it was difficult to understand the moves by US Congress to pass what has been called a “sanctions bill from hell,” given that he was well acquainted with many members of both chambers.

“I never thought that politicians could reach such decisions as they do not honour serious political figures,” the Russian foreign minister emphasized.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump signed the $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act that includes sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream gas pipelines along with a range of other measures. On Saturday, the US Department of the Treasury said that the sanctions had already entered into force, and demanded an immediate stop to pipe installations for these projects. After that, Berlin “firmly” rejected sanctions against German and European companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project.

The Nord Stream 2 project is a joint venture between Russia's Gazprom and five European companies — France's ENGIE, Austria's OMV, the UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall. The project involves the construction of two pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Russian coast via the Baltic Sea to Germany.

Ukraine is actively opposing Nord Stream 2 fearing the loss of revenue from the transit of Russian gas via its territory. The United States has called the project political and threatening energy security in Europe. Russia has repeatedly stated that the Nord Stream 2 project is purely commercial and competitive, and has indicated that it does not imply a cessation of the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to the EU. 

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