KYIV, April 4 - President Donald Trump said Wednesday the U.S. will oppose construction of Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany through Baltic Sea amid concerns for European energy security.
Trump made the comments at a meeting with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in the White House to discuss energy and security issues.
"Germany hooks up a pipeline into Russia, where Germany is going to be paying billions of dollars for energy into Russia," said Trump, Anadolu news agency reported. "And I’m saying, “What’s going on with that? How come Germany is paying vast amounts of money to Russia when they hook up a pipeline? That’s not right."
Ukraine, now a major gas shipper from Russia to Europe, stands to lose up to $2 billion in annual gas transit revenue in the event Nord Stream 2 is commissioned and runs at full capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year.
The developments come after the German regulatory authorities issued on March 27 the last permit for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 in Germany. The permit covers construction of a 30-kilometer zone in the exclusive economic zone.
“This is an unpleasant but predictable act,” the national energy company Naftogaz Ukrayiny said in response to the permit. “It does not stop counterwork."
Along with the U.S. and Ukraine, many European countries, including Denmark, Poland and Lithuania, are against the Nord Stream 2 claiming it will increase Russian influence on European energy markets.
In November 2017, the Danish Parliament approved a law that allows the country's authorities to prohibit the construction of Nord Stream 2 in Danish territorial waters.
The Russian authorities said earlier that they would find an alternative route in the case of Denmark's rejection of the existing route.
The Nord Stream 2 consortium includes six members: Russia’s Gazprom, Germany’s E.ON and BASF/Wintershall, as well as OMV, Engie and Shell.
The project involves the construction of two lines of a sea gas pipeline with a total annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters from Russia to Germany across the bottom of the Baltic Sea. (ad/nr/ez)