01:08 GMT04 August 2021
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    KIEV (Sputnik) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Russia and Western Europe a weapon that Moscow could use against his country.

    "The biggest challenge to Ukraine at the moment in this [energy] sphere is the completion and launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Its operational launch is not related to economics. It is a weapon against Ukraine and, I am certain, will be a weapon against all of Europe in the future", he said.

    Zelensky, who spoke at a Ukrainian political forum on Monday, called on Western allies to torpedo the project, which aims to carry 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year across the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied using gas contracts as a tool, while Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltic states urged Europe to stop the cooperation with Moscow and backed the US-imposed sanctions against the project

    President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the media at a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz after their meeting at the federal chancellery in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.
    © AP Photo / Ronald Zak
    President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the media at a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz after their meeting at the federal chancellery in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.

    Ukraine's economy relies on Russian gas transit money: according to the chief of Ukraine's GTS Operator, Sergiy Makogon, the country's economy would lose $5-6 billion yearly if the Nord Stream 2 was launched- including $1.5 billion that Kiev would lose if Russia suspended gas transit.

    Tags:
    Ukraine, Russia, gas, gas, gas, Nord Stream 2, Nord Stream 2, Nord Stream-2, Nord Stream 2, Volodymyr Zelensky
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