Failure to Certify Nord Stream 2 Not an Option, Russia Says

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will eventually get the necessary certification and start working and Russia isn’t even considering a “Plan B” in case that doesn’t happen, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.

Hoping that no new requirements for the project will be put forward by the German government, Moscow expects the certification to be completed not earlier than the end of the first half of 2022.

Amid rising demand and lack of gas supplies in Europe which has seen gas prices skyrocketing, Novak has also underscored Russia’s readiness to increase gas exports to Europe but under long-term contracts- something that European companies avoid in favor of short-term spot deals.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov pointed that Nord Stream 2 certification’s delay is not a problem for Russia, but for European consumers that will suffer from delays.

Chizhov said that Russia as a state is not concerned about the delay since it has no direct relation to this project and even its reputation as a gas supplier won’t suffer since it delivers exactly the volume it signed up for and has every opportunity to deliver to the EU countries as much gas as they are willing to buy via the transport routes both through Ukraine and Poland.

Nord Stream 2 lays idle while awaiting regulatory approval from Berlin and Brussels although the construction on the increasingly politicized pipeline, which transports gas from Russia to Germany on the bed of the Baltic Sea, was completed in September.

The Ukrainian position on the pipeline that is bypassing it, conveyed by the chief executive of Ukraine’s state energy company Naftogaz, Yuriy Vitrenko, is that Nord Stream 2 should not be certified since it’s not compliant with EU rules.

It’s more and more obvious that the project is falling victim to the growing tensions between Russia and the West, which fears a potential Russian attack on Ukraine – Russia denies such plans – especially since the German government appears to accept that Nord Stream 2 would be scrapped if new sanctions need to be imposed on Russia in case of invasion of Ukraine.

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