14:49 Apr. 20, 2016
Ukraine has become a reliable gas transit partner, European official says
The European Union does not need Russia's planned Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline from an economic point of view.
This was stated Janez Kopač, Director of the European Energy Community Secretariat, in his interview with the Russian news outlet RIA Novosti.
"I see no economic need for implementing the project. From a geostrategic point of view, it is also the same thing (no need for the project). For Europe, of course," he commented on the Nord Stream-2 planned gas pipeline.
Last year Ukraine became a "truly reliable partner" (for Europe) in the sphere of gas transit - "Ukraine consistently implements the *Third Energy Package," Kopač added.
"The reformed Ukraine, which fulfils the Third Energy Package, is the best guarantee for continuous, well-managed transit of gas from Russia to the E.U. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, I do not see any need for this project," said Kopač.
Earlier, eight E.U. member states submitted a letter to E.C. President Jean-Claude Juncker where they expressed their disapproval of the Nord Stream-2 project. They said Nord Stream 2 would increase European countries dependence on Russian gas and be deeply damaging for Ukraine, currently the main transit route for Siberian gas to Europe.
In September 2015, Russia's Gazprom formed a consortium of European energy firms including E.ON, BASF/Wintershall and Royal Dutch Shell, to develop the Nord Stream-2 pipeline - the Baltic undersea pipeline to Germany - which would allow Russia to bypass Ukraine completely from 2019.
According to Ukraine's former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, if Russia and some Western companies build a Nord Stream-2, it will deprive Ukraine of USD 2 bln transit fees.
*The European Union's Third Energy Package is a legislative package for an internal gas and electricity market in the European Union