Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that he has ordered the creation of a group lobbyists based in Brussels who will help build support that would put a stop to the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is set to carry natural gas from Vyborg in the Russian Federation to the German city of Greifswald via the Baltic Sea.
“We are now creating a group in the EU to stop the construction of North Stream-2. That is why we are actively negotiating with Germany. We are inviting them to create an international consortium to help manage Ukraine’s state gas transportation system,” Poroshenko wrote, according to New Europe.
Poroshenko says the construction of Nord Stream 2 will deprive Ukraine of up to $3 billion for the state budget, an amount that equals the country’s entire annual defense expenditures. The Ukrainian president did not provide any further details on the identities of the lobbyists or what sort of policy tools they’ll be equipped with, but emphasized that the U.S. is also determined to stop the project in order to ensure that the existing sanctions regime remains in place.
Nord Stream 2 is designed to bring Russian gas to Europe by using a newly-built pipeline that runs under the Baltic Sea. The project passes through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. In March, Germany granted permits to Gazprom – the Russian energy giant with a majority share in Nord Stream-2 – to finish with the pipeline’s construction. The move followed similar approvals by the governments of Finland and Sweden.
Ukraine, Poland, and some other countries in Eastern Europe have strongly opposed the Nord Stream-2 project as they have warned that it will increase the EU’s dependence on Russian energy and undermine the bloc’s strategic interests.