The Russian Foreign Ministry warned the EU against hindering the Nord Stream 2 project, stated Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Alexander Pankin in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Pankin stated that if obstacles are created to force Russia to pump gas through Ukraine “on their terms, their tariffs and their legal uncertainties, then this would not work”. He pointed to possible difficulties that European consumers could have if Russia and Ukraine fail to reach an agreement on gas transit and “if the problems with Nord Stream 2 remain."
At the same time, he stated that Russia is ready to continue gas transit to Europe through Ukraine. "We are ready to continue transit through Ukraine, but on the conditions that we need,” Pankin stated, suggesting that after the Presidential elections, Ukraine's position may change.
Pankin suggested that a change in position, certain institutional developments, or a legal development in the processes could occur in Ukraine by next May.
Nord Stream 2 has already been criticized by some European countries. The gas pipeline would be laid under the Baltic Sea along with the already-existing Nord Stream line. Russia plans to complete the project this year, when agreements between Moscow and Kyiv on gas transit through Ukraine expire.
Earlier, the European Union supported a compromise solution by amending the EU third energy package. According to the amendments, the EU member state holding the primary traffic artery connecting to European gas pipelines grids would be responsible for the gas pipeline coming from the third country. Thus, the German government, not Brussels, would regulate Nord Stream 2.