"We really feel quite a political tension, not to mention our biggest infrastructure project such as Nord Stream 2. For me, it is quite a surprise because I see a lot of debates in this respect. But at the same time, all of us understand that it is a 100 percent commercial project and it is not paid by taxpayers of the European Union, it is a 100 percent commercial capital that was invested there," Burmistrova said during a session at the Gastech conference in Barcelona.
Some of the European countries have repeatedly expressed their concerns over the project, while others, such as Germany and Austria, have welcomed the new pipeline.
The project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe, such as Germany and Austria, and opposed by others, including Ukraine, which may suffer transit revenue drops if Nord Stream 2 becomes operational.
Energy Ties With China Will Not Affect European Supplies
Russian energy giant Gazprom's supply of gas to China, including via western route, will not affect the volume of the company's deliveries to Europe, Burmistrova stated.
Earlier in September, an official from China's National Energy Administration (NEA) said that Beijing intended to increase imports of natural gas from Russia and Kazakhstan in the near future. Also this month, Russian energy company Rosneft and Chinese National Oil and Gas Corporation (CNPC) agreed on broader cooperation in the area of exploration and extraction.
"I would not say it would affect our relationship with Europe. It has always been our natural customer, a partner as well, geographically. We are lucky to be just in the middle. China is our new partner and we are happy that our project is finally alive and we can talk about new options. It will be different fields and I do not think it will somehow influence our European supplies," Burmistrova said.
In 2014, Gazprom and China's CNPC signed a framework agreement on the delivery of 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually. The agreement stipulates the construction of appropriate infrastructure for the gas deliveries.
Next year, Gazprom and CNPC signed an agreement on constructing the western route pipeline, known as the Power of Siberia-2. The pipeline is planned to supplement the eastern route — Power of Siberia pipeline — and has a planned annual capacity of 30 billion cubic meters. Additionally, Russian gas producer Novatek is implementing the Yamal LNG project jointly with CNPC. China also became the buyer of the second batch of LNG from this project.