Naftogaz Ukraine CEO Believes US Sanctions Can Still Block Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline

© AFP 2022 / ODD ANDERSENA road sign directs traffic towards the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility entrance in Lubmin, north eastern Germany, on September 7, 2020.
A road sign directs traffic towards the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility entrance in Lubmin, north eastern Germany, on September 7, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.09.2021
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KIEV (Sputnik) - The United States can still block the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline should Washington impose sanctions against the firms involved in the Russian gas project, Yuriy Vitrenko, CEO of the state-owned energy company Naftogaz Ukraine, said on Saturday.
The statement comes a day after Russian gas giant Gazprom announced that construction of the pipeline has been completed. Moscow 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. Kiev, however, continues to back efforts to hinder the Nord Stream 2 project, which is expected to transport gas from Russia directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, and claims that the pipeline threatens the energy security of Ukraine and Europe.

"Should the US government impose sanctions on [companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project] ... we believe that European companies would not be buying gas from this pipeline, and it will never become operational", Vitrenko told the Yalta European Strategy (YES) Brainstorming forum, slamming the project as "a symbol of western corruption".

The Naftogaz CEO recalled that Washington's sanctions in 2019 were able to pause construction of the gas pipeline, as they forced Swiss company Allseas to abandon work on the project. Construction, however, was resumed by the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna in late 2020.
The YES Brainstorming forum is an annual meeting held since 2004 that gathers European leaders, other senior officials, as well as heads of international organisations and experts. The participants discuss current global challenges and their impact on Europe and Ukraine. This year's edition runs from 10-11 September.
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