EU to involve Ukraine in Nord Stream-2 pre-launch certification

21 January, 03:32 PM

Kyiv will be involved in the final pre-launch certification of the Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said during a briefing on Jan.20 in Brussels.

“(The European Commission) ruled that Ukraine will be invited to participate in Nord Stream-2 certification procedures, as soon as it’s time for the Commission to get involved,” Galushenko said.

“This is the official position (that the commission) announced today, for which I am profoundly grateful.”

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The Nord Stream-2 pipeline is intended to carry natural gas directly from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine. Ukrainians believe the pipeline to be a geopolitical tool by Moscow intended to strip them of their gas transit fees – currently, a significant portion of gas from Russia to Europe flows through Ukraine.

While Russia has denied those claims, Ukraine has successfully won against Russia in arbitration on the stoppage of contract-mandated gas transits to the tune of $2.9 billion.

The construction of the pipeline, with an annual throughput of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas, was completed on Sep. 10, 2021.

Earlier, Yuri Vitrenko, chairman of Ukraine’s state oil and gas operator Naftogaz, said that German regulators ought to take Ukrainian concerns into account during the pipeline’s certification.

The certification process began on Sep. 13 and will take up to four months. Once that concludes, the final decision to greenlight NS-2 for operation will be up to the European Commission.

On Dec. 17, the NS-2 operator began filling the second line of NS-2 with gas, in preparation for launch.

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