12:52 29.05.2021

Naftogaz opposes lifting U.S. sanctions on Nord Stream 2 project

3 min read
Naftogaz opposes lifting U.S. sanctions on Nord Stream 2 project

Naftogaz Ukrainy National Joint Stock Company (NJSC) only partially supports the open appeal of the Center for Liberal Modernity to the Federal Government and democratic parties of Germany, as it considers unacceptable the call for a compromise on lifting U.S. sanctions.

"Given the high likelihood of new threats, Naftogaz appeals to state authorities, public activists, and the expert community to take immediate public initiative and call upon strategic partners and all stakeholders to prevent the lifting of U.S. sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 project," the NJSC's press release says.

According to Naftogaz CEO Yuriy Vitrenko, the risks of waiving sanctions on the part of the new U.S. administration were obvious, so he expressed surprise that the previous management of the company did not timely issue a statement about the inadmissibility of the provision on lifting the sanctions in circulation.

"The risks of abandoning sanctions from the new U.S. administration were clear. We expected the new administration would seek certain compromises with Germany, in as much as it is an important NATO partner for them. In turn, Germany, at least until the autumn elections, will try to complete the construction of Nord Stream 2 as soon as possible and put pressure on the United States. As this risk was obvious, I expected my predecessors to plan steps ahead," he said.

According to an appeal released by the Center for liberal modernity, they are calling for an immediate moratorium on the construction of the pipeline, as it undermines European cohesion and transatlantic relations; conflicts with the new European and German climate goals; threatens the already precarious security of Ukraine and runs counter to the aim of a common EU external energy policy.

At the same time, the think tank suggested that after the announcement of the moratorium, the U.S. sanctions against the project should also be suspended.

Earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden said that the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would continue despite the already existing U.S. sanctions, because it is already almost fully completed.

The current U.S. administration has repeatedly stated that it opposes the Nord Stream 2 project and will try to prevent the completion of construction.

Republicans criticize Biden for too soft, from their point of view, sanctions policy regarding the gas pipeline. In particular, earlier in May, many Republican congressmen expressed dissatisfaction with Biden's decision not yet to impose sanctions against the pipeline operator, Nord Stream 2 AG.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the country would fight the construction of Nord Stream 2 until the end.

In May, Naftogaz carried out a personnel reshuffle in its team, announcing the strengthening of the management team to achieve qualitative changes in interaction with stakeholders, carry out real and complex reforms, as well as to search for new tools to counter the Nord Stream 2 project.

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