"It’s not a government project. It’s a project of private companies. Of course, it’s good news that this project is continuing. It does have a political dimension as we all know. For us, it is important to have a diverse supply of natural resources in Europe", Kordasch said, when asked about Germany’s reaction to the decision of its neighbouring state.
The additional supplies of natural gas are needed in part due to the decline of European production and phasing out of coal, the diplomat explained.
"So there is an additional demand for the future and part of that supply would have to come from Russia. And as I said, it’s an additional demand that’s where we think there is a need for this new pipeline but also for the continued transit of gas through Ukraine. And currently, there are ongoing talks between Russia and Ukraine with the assistance of the European Commission on this issue. We hope they would be successful", Kordasch said.
The diplomat remarked that stable and diversified gas supplies required both — "the new pipeline, Nord Stream 2, but also a continued transit through Ukraine".
Denmark's Energy Agency announced on 30 October that it had issued a permit for the construction of a section of the pipeline on the Danish continental shelf southeast of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. The pipeline for carrying Russian natural gas to Europe is set to pass through the territories of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia and Sweden. Denmark was the last country to hold out on the construction permit. Denmark’s decision will allow the pipeline builders to lay down the last stretch.
Germany has championed the pipeline since the beginning of the project despite Washington’s strong opposition. US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in late August that the United States was likely to introduce further sanctions against Russia over the pipeline. Meanwhile, back in 2018, he suggested that the sanctions against European companies linked to the project were "always an option", although a last-resort one. But the US president’s nominee for the next ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, said Wednesday that the United States might now be unable to stop the pipeline from happening whatever steps it took.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines were purely commercial projects, so business thinking triumphed over the "attempts to make energy a hostage of political differences".
The diplomat is currently at the International Public Diplomacy Forum, dubbed The Dialogue on the Volga. The forum is being held in Russia’s city of Volgograd and co-organised by Russia's Rossotrudnichestvo — a government agency focused on international cooperation. It is aimed at fostering ties between the foreign and Russian public.