Russia Says Ready for Arctic LNG 2 Project Even If U.S. Sanctions Scare off Investors

Moscow will launch the Arctic LNG 2 project even if it has to do it on its own, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has said, adding that a new U.S. bill introducing fresh sanctions against Russia aims to sabotage the LNG mega-project, TASS news agency reports.

Earlier this week, U.S. senators introduced a bill suggesting a wide range of sanctions against Moscow, targeting its foreign debt, banking sphere and energy sector, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects abroad.

The sanctions may target the massive Arctic LNG 2 project developed by Russia’s biggest independent natural gas producer Novatek. France’s Total has recently joined the project, with Chinese investors also showing interest.

If the U.S. proceeds with the punitive measures, it is unclear how foreign partners may react, Siluanov said. While Russia hopes that “business interests will prevail,” the country can turn the project into reality on its own, the minister stressed.

“In any case we will implement this Arctic LNG project because we have the resources,” Siluanov told Russian outlet Business FM. He added that the country may consider using public funds due to the growing capacity of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is to surpass 7 percent of GDP this year.

The minister added that Novatek’s Yamal LNG plant in the Arctic, which recently reached full capacity, has already proven its high profit margins for investors.