REUTERS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is an energy war, and to win that war, there should be unity.

He made the comment during an interview for Le Figaro, as reported by the press service of the President's Office on April 16.

"This is an energy war. As in any war, one cannot fight without unity. Someone will definitely lose. If the Nord Stream 2 is completed, not only Ukraine will lose," Zelensky said.

"This is a precedent, it means that it is allowed. And this is the same as with our occupied territories. If people recognize and get used to it, live with it, then it means this is allowed. Starting from Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, and now Crimea, Donbas... Crimea and Donbas would not be the case if the world had said 'it is not allowed' back then," the president said.

Read alsoGerman environmentalists file another lawsuit vs Nord Stream 2Zelensky also stresses Nord Stream 2 is part of an information, hybrid, and energy war.

"Nord Stream is another blow, an energy one. Modern wars are called that way. Hybrid wars. This is an information war, an energy war. The same with gas, the food war. We know how countries are blocked and they do not receive food. Similarly, there is a vaccine war, when there is no supply of vaccines to a country, and you are blackmailed. This is a hybrid war," he added.

The president stressed that the gas pipeline is not a commercial project of Russia or Europe, but a matter of war.

"So what's the difference which troops are fighting against you? Remember, this [Nord Stream] is not a business issue. Business of Europe and Russia. No, it's a matter of war," he said.

Also, Zelensky called Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline a trap for all countries across Europe.

According to him, two factors will influence the completion of Nord Stream 2, namely the United States and the unity of European countries.

"I believe that the U.S. sanctions policy will help Ukraine, and I am grateful to them for that. And here they have an open position. In European countries there are different positions. Russia uses that," he said.

Nord Stream 2: Background

  • The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two gas pipeline branches with a total throughput capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It should connect Russia's Ust-Lug and Germany's Greifswald. This new pipeline bypassing Ukraine is to be built next to the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
  • The construction of the pipeline was expected to be completed before the end of 2019.
  • The pipeline will be 1,220 km long. The project is being implemented by Russia's Gazprom in alliance with European companies – ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall. Ukraine stands against the construction of Nord Stream 2 as it will most likely lose its status of a gas transit country, while its potential revenue losses are estimated at US$3 billion annually. The project is also highly criticized by the U.S., Poland, and the Baltic States.
  • The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has already been completed by more than 90%.
  • The United States has imposed a series of sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and has repeatedly called on European allies and private companies to stop the related works.
  • On January 7, 2021, a fund was established in Germany to support the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project.
  • Eighteen companies have already refused to participate in the project or are planning to do so because of the sanctions.
  • On February 6, 2021, Nord Stream 2 AG announced it would continue to lay the pipes under the project.
  • On March 14, 2021, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said that Europe did not need the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Despite this, Germany continues to insist on the completion of the project.
  • On March 19, 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 to immediately halt laying pipes, threatening new sanctions.