Austrian Chancellor Kurz Voices Support for Russia’s Nord Stream 2

Austria will continue promoting the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project despite the negative stance of the United States on the issue, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF.

“[Trump] has clearly said that the United States is against this project. We are aware of this. We support this project because we are interested in reliable energy supplies to Austria. Finally, there is some sort of agreement on this project in Europe. And we will further promote this project,” Kurz said in the interview.

“Buying gas from the United States would not be a problem for us. But as long as Russia’s price is better than that of the United States, Russia is more attractive for us as a partner on this issue. A believe that as a former businessman, [Trump] can understand that we have different interests here,” the Chancellor pointed out.

Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies, including Austria’s OMV. The project aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas annually to the European Union. The pipeline project is opposed by many European countries which raise concerns that the pipeline will increase the EU’s dependence on Russia while starving so-called “transit countries” like Ukraine and Poland of fees for the gas passing over their territories.

Kurz met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday and said afterward that Trump and the European Union are still far from a deal to avert threatened tariffs on European cars, part of a broader, ongoing trade dispute.