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Germany sticks to Nord Stream 2 pipeline despite Ukraine crisis

BERLIN,  (Reuters) - Germany is still committed to the NordStream 2 pipeline, which will allow Russia to bypass Ukraine in transporting gas to Europe, despite escalating tension in the region, a government spokesman in Berlin said.

The United States and others have stepped up criticism of the project since Russia seized three Ukrainian ships near Crimea on Sunday. Critics say the pipeline will make Germany and Europe too dependent on Russia for its energy supplies.

“I have taken note of the criticism but nothing has changed in the basic view of the economic project which is what NordStream is,” said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

He added that Germany still wanted to ensure Ukraine would remain a transit country for gas from Russia to Europe. Earlier, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany had said NordStream 2 should be put on hold.

The United States also wants its European allies to consider further sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations said on Wednesday.

But a spokesman for the foreign ministry said the debate about further sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine was premature.

“It’s a legal instrument that has consequences for those who are affected by the sanctions so that means you need to consider and discuss it carefully,” said the spokesman.

Several senior European politicians on Tuesday raised the possibility of new sanctions against Russia to punish it for capturing three Ukrainian vessels at sea, an incident the West fears could ignite a wider conflict. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Michelle Martin; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)


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FEATURED COLUMNS

Editorial Comment
-Adrienne Blume
China is hosting the 19th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG2019) in Shanghai from 1–5 April—an appropriate choice of host country, given China’s increased appetite for natural gas.
EWAnalysis: Canada comes late to LNG; projects and prospects mixed
- Energy Web Atlas
Canada has abundant natural gas resources.
Executive Viewpoint: BHGE developing technology-driven solutions to reduce total cost of ownership
-Alberto Matucci
While BHGE recently won new orders for LNG projects, the company remains committed to differentiating the business, implementing solutions proven in LNG into other applications of the oil and gas value chain.
Industry Trends: Russia and US go head-to-head over EU gas market
-Eugene Gerden
Lower-cost Russian gas will likely continue to dominate the EU market in the coming years, despite the growth in oil prices, to which Russian gas prices are linked.


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