Russia is a safe and reliable provider of gas to Germany, which is why the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is important to secure the energy supplies, Thomas Bareiss, Germany’s state secretary for energy, has said according to Reuters.
The politically controversial pipeline is pushed by Russia and Germany, while the United States, along with Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltic states, have been opposing it, claiming it would circumvent current transit countries and increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has repeatedly warned Western firms invested in the project that they are at risk of sanctions.
Nord Stream 2, which is planned to double the existing Nord Stream 1 capacity from 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year, is owned by Russia’s state-controlled gas giant Gazprom, which is taking on half of the planned costs of 9.5 billion euros ($11 billion).
The rest is divided among five European energy companies – Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell, France’s Engie, and Austria’s OMV.
Gas is due to start flowing to Europe through the pipeline at the end of 2019 and will allow Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM) to stop piping gas via Ukraine where it has clashed with authorities over pricing and other issues for years.
Gazprom and its partners say the project is aimed at ensuring energy security in Europe, where gas production is falling.
“I know the U.S. has concerns … but it is not so easy. For Germany, Russia has always been a safe and reliable supplier for gas,” Bareiss told the Bloomberg NEF Future of Energy summit.
“Nord Stream 2 should go on because the pipeline secures energy supply in Europe,” he told the conference in London.