Russia won't be able to complete its controversial Nord Stream 2 project without the support of western companies that pulled out earlier due to American sanctions, says a top U.S. official.
The U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said this in an interview during the Munich Security Conference on February 15, Bloomberg reported.
“It’s going to be a very long delay, because Russia doesn’t have the technology,” Brouillette stated. “If they develop it, we’ll see what they do. But I don’t think it’s as easy as saying, well, we’re almost there, we’re just going to finish it.”
Brouillette stated that Russia “can’t” circumvent the U.S. sanctions on the pipeline, the successful launch of which would allow Russia to deliver gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine. The U.S. sanctions, approved on December 20 resulted in western companies stopping the construction of the project.
The press secretary to the Chairman of the Management Committee at Gazprom, Sergey Kupriyanov, commented, "Never say never," to the Russian business news site RBC on February 16, after getting asked about his opinion on Brouillette’s statement.
This statement comes nearly a week after a Russian pipe-laying vessel, "Akademik Cherskiy," left the port Nakhodka on Russia’s Pacific coast where it had been stationed on February 9. It is expected to arrive in Singapore on February 22. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak believes that that the vessel is capable of completing the pipeline.
Gazprom now expects Nord Stream 2 to be completed by the end of 2020, the company said during its "investor day" in New York on February 11.
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