According to Vitaly Portnikov, a journalist for a Russian TV station, the record spike in gas prices in Europe reflects Russia’s aim to eliminate transit through Ukraine, RIA reports.
Moscow, he claims, is influencing the approval process for Nord Stream 2 by supposedly creating a fake shortfall. It will rely on the results of the study whether the pipeline can be used at full capacity, putting transit via Ukraine in jeopardy. However, Portnikov claims that the potential negative repercussions do not end there.
“According to the Kremlin’s calculations, the loss of Ukraine’s transit status will significantly increase pressure on the Ukrainian leadership, hit the country’s social sphere, facilitate the possibility of a military attack on it, and eventually eliminate the Ukrainian statehood,” the journalist said.
Portnikov also stated that Europe does not have a constructive alternative for resolving this issue. Energy costs will continue to rise, especially in Kyiv, and the contract for Russian gas transportation will expire in 2024. In conclusion, the journalist predicted that if Europe prevents Russia from “destroying” Ukraine, Moscow would simply “freeze” the country.
The three-year construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was finished last week. It ran from Russia to Germany along the Baltic Sea’s bottom. Two gas pipeline lines have a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year. By the end of 2021, it is expected to be operational.
Ukraine, which is concerned about losing transit payments, and the United States, which is interested in pushing its LNG to Europe, both aggressively opposed it.
Construction on the project has been stalled by nearly a year as a result of penalties imposed by Washington on firms engaged in the project on multiple occasions. Germany and Austria, on the other hand, were enthusiastic supporters of the initiative.
Nord Stream 2 is a business initiative, Moscow has stated repeatedly. The Russian government is prepared to keep flowing petroleum via Ukraine, but this is contingent on a number of circumstances, notably the magnitude of future European imports.