MOSCOW, February 13 – RIA Novosti. Igor Yushkov, an expert at the Financial University under the Government, spoke about how the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline can be protected from US sanctions.
In an interview with the MK newspaper, the specialist noted that Washington's strategy in opposing the project has not changed: the ships involved in the construction of the gas pipeline are subject to sanctions. The Russian side transferred these ships into the ownership of more and more companies, whose activities the Americans could not influence in any way.
“Of course, they also automatically fall under sanctions, but after the construction is completed, they can be simply bankrupted and the ships returned to their former owners,” Yushkov explained.
At the same time, he noted that these ships will not be able to operate anywhere outside of Russia, however, even before the construction of Nord Stream 2, they were used only in our country.
“The only way to avoid future US sanctions against the operation of Nord Stream 2 will be direct intervention of the European Union, whose countries are not profitable to freeze the project,” the expert concluded.
Yushkov also appreciated the opportunity to bring the gas pipeline to full capacity. So, due to the fact that the last 12 kilometers of Nord Stream 2 pass in the territorial waters of Germany, it falls under the EU Gas Directive.
“According to European laws, the Russian monopoly will be able to supply only 50% of its own fuel by pipeline, and the other half must be given to competitors,” he explained.
At the same time, the expert emphasized that this problem is already being solved, for which a special environmental fund has been created – it will be able to assign the project the status of climate-important for Europe.
“Such a fund will not prevent American sanctions, but the EU will be able to save the pipeline from the Gas Directive,” Yushkov added.
In addition, they may also develop a scheme for selling gas in a 12-kilometer zone off the coast of Germany, where the Gas Directive will not apply.
“Nord Stream – 2”
Nord Stream 2 envisages the construction of two lines of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The project is actively opposed by the United States, which is promoting its liquefied natural gas to the EU, as well as Ukraine and a number of European countries. The states imposed sanctions against the gas pipeline in December 2019, as a result of which the Swiss Allseas was forced to stop laying.
Construction continued a year later – in December 2020, the Fortuna pipelayer laid 2.6 kilometers of pipes in German waters. As a result, according to Nord Stream 2 AG (operator of the project), approximately 148 kilometers of the pipeline remained unfinished out of the total length of its two lines of 2,460 kilometers. It remains to lay 120 kilometers in the waters of Denmark, as well as about 28 kilometers in the waters of Germany.
German authorities have agreed on the possibility of laying with the help of “Fortuna” by the end of May. At the same time, work is currently being carried out in the waters of Denmark. The Danish Maritime Agency issued a notice on February 8 stating that the construction of two lines of the pipeline in Danish waters is scheduled to be completed by the end of April.