U.S. Deputy Secretary of State says Russia could use Nord Stream 2 as "hammer" to hit Ukraine
The construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline is posing a threat to Ukraine, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, believes.
"It's going give the Russian Federation an enormous lever over Ukraine and a hammer that they can hit the Ukrainians with," Sullivan said during a confirmation hearing on his nomination as U.S. ambassador to Russia, CSPAN reported.
"If the Russians cut gas transit through Ukraine, Ukraine will lose billions in hard currency that is desperately needed for its economy," he said, adding that President Trump has been "vociferous" in opposing the Nord Stream 2 and urging NATO Allies, and particularly Germany, "to not cooperate in committing this pipeline because of the damage it will do to Ukraine."
He admits that the U.S. has not succeeded to date to convince NATO Allies to stop the construction from completing.
Also, John Sullivan says Russia may be capable of completing the pipeline even despite sanctions U.S. may further impose on those involved in the construction.
Responding to a suggestion voiced at the hearing that the Russians may lack technology to complete the pipeline and that they have to rely on the outsource, Sullivan said: "We need to discuss with some experts on what they have left to do – that little stub that's left – whether they can complete that on their own."
He suggested Russia might need to reposition assets used elsewhere but "given the amount that's already been invested and the length of the pipeline that's already been completed, it may be that they're already capable of doing that."
As UNIAN reported earlier, Denmark's Energy Agency granted Nord Stream 2 AG permission to build part of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on the country's continental shelf, which cleared obstacles for the project completion.