Ukraine lobbies for cuts in Russian Nord Stream 1 gas shipments

(EurActiv, 21 Apr 2022) Ukraine is working behind the scenes to convince Western allies to shift Russia’s shipments of natural gas from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Ukraine’s pipeline, increasing Kyiv’s leverage in its conflict with Russia, energy officials told Reuters.

Doing so, they said, would force Russia to move more of its Europe-bound gas through Ukraine. That would make Moscow pay more transit fees that could help Ukraine’s wartime defense and deter Russia from damaging Ukraine’s gas pipelines in the meantime, they told lawmakers and Biden administration officials in Washington last week.

The first line of Nord Stream 1, which carries Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany, was inaugurated on 8 November 2011.The second line of Nord Stream 1 was inaugurated on 8 October 2012.

Russia currently moves 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year on Nord Stream 1. It moves another 40 bcm to Europe through Ukraine’s gas transport system and pays transit fees to Ukraine in US dollars.

Representatives from Ukraine’s gas pipeline operator and gas firm Naftogaz spent a week in Washington meeting administration officials and congressional lawmakers to urge them to convince Germany and other European allies to adopt the plan.

Russia “depends on us transporting gas from Russia to Europe. This is something to leverage in our discussions with them and Europe can help,” said Olga Bielkova, director of international affairs for the Gas Transit System Operator of Ukraine, in an interview in Washington.

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EurActiv, 21 Apr 2022: Ukraine lobbies for cuts in Russian Nord Stream 1 gas shipments