If Nord Stream 2 project implemented, Ukraine to lose gas transit - ex-Ukrainian president Kuchma
Second President of Ukraine (1994-2005), who is Ukraine's envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group in the Minsk talks, is confident that the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project would result in the loss of gas transit across Ukraine. He lamented the fact that a gas transmission consortium for the Ukrainian gas transportation system (GTS) was not created.
"Do you imagine what Nord Stream 2 is for Ukraine? It means that our pipe is almost empty. They say and promise that we are considering something to be left. But nothing will be left, if the Nord Stream 2 [is implemented]. There is Turkish Stream. Then nothing remains for Ukraine - 10-15 billion [cubic meters]," Kuchma said at a press conference in Dnipro on Friday, September 21.
"We are now receiving $2-3 billion with the small pumping we have today and to lose it... all because of our shortsightedness. Russia asked, Europe asked, and we signed a Memorandum with Russia, Germany in 2002 to create a joint consortium for our Ukrainian GTS. Then France agreed, the Italians. We would have been on horseback today. And what did we say? Gather the media: I was pressured that I was almost a traitor to national interests and that I was selling the national wealth. However, we were not selling. We were joining the consortium with our pipeline. It was planned that we would have 51%. Today we have already opened our eyes, proposed that ourselves. However, the ship has sailed. They waved us," the second Ukrainian president said.
According to Kuchma, it happens so "when politics runs ahead of the economy."
In this regard, he recalled the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Russian Federation, a decision on non-renewal of which was adopted last week.
"What will we benefit from this? We always need to look at the final result... I understand if in 2014, once the war in Ukraine started, we broke the Treaty, but we do not do it. And when do we do? We do it when tomorrow are elections," Kuchma said.