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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Much of criticism toward the Nord Stream 2 pipeline stems from poor knowledge of realities and history of gas relations between Russia and Ukraine, Managing Director of Branko Terzic & Associates LLC, a former commissioner on the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, told Sputnik.
“Most critics seem unaware of existence and operation of either Nord Stream I or the history of natural gas economic relations between Russia and Ukraine with respect to both gas supply to Ukraine and pipeline transit services provided by Ukraine”, Branko Terzic said. “The Russian – Ukrainian natural gas dispute over gas pricing and transit fees was unique and it is little known even today in the US. The misinformation is that Russia cut off gas to Western Europe, which it did not”.
Terzic made the comments after Germany and the United States struck a deal to allow the completion of the Russian-led pipeline project, a long-standing point of contention between the two allies.
“I have not seen any written official version of the US-German agreement, but the press reports do not indicate that there is a “guarantee” of Russian transit fees to Ukraine’s pipeline operator. There appears to be a vague commitment to somehow assist Ukraine economically for loss of future revenues”, Terzic noted.
© AFP 2021 / ODD ANDERSEN
(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 07, 2020 the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility in Lubmin, north eastern Germany
Under the deal, the United States and Germany committed to helping Ukraine negotiate an extension of its gas transit fee agreement with Russia. It also envisages measures of support for Ukraine, such as a $1 billion green fund to promote renewable energy there and 60 million euro package from Germany to support energy security in the eastern European country.
In addition, Germany vowed to take action at the national and EU level in case Russia uses energy as a weapon or takes aggressive actions against Ukraine.
The project, which aims to lay a 745-mile-long offshore twin pipeline that will carry up to 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas per year from Russia to Germany, is currently at its final stretch.
The United States has stood in opposition to the project since its beginning in 2012, but the decision to allow for its completion comes as Washington turns its focus toward establishing closer ties with European partners such as Germany.