KIEV (Sputnik) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Russia and Western Europe a weapon that Moscow could use against his country.
“The biggest challenge to Ukraine at the moment in this [energy] sphere is the completion and launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Its operational launch is not related to economics. It is a weapon against Ukraine and, I am certain, will be a weapon against all of Europe in the future”, he said.
Zelensky, who spoke at a Ukrainian political forum on Monday, called on Western allies to torpedo the project, which aims to carry 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year across the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied using gas contracts as a tool, while Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltic states urged Europe to stop the cooperation with Moscow and backed the US-imposed sanctions against the project
Ukraine’s economy relies on Russian gas transit money: according to the chief of Ukraine’s GTS Operator, Sergiy Makogon, the country’s economy would lose $5-6 billion yearly if the Nord Stream 2 was launched- including $1.5 billion that Kiev would lose if Russia suspended gas transit.