“We’ve seen Russia in the past use its natural gas as a geopolitical weapon. It threatens other countries, it extorts money from them, and it bullies them. With this new pipeline, Russia is seeking to make Germany and the rest of Europe even more dependent, even more susceptible to this kind of Russian coercion, he stated.
He explained that “it is in the national security interests of our country to help our allies reduce their dependence on Russian energy.” The Senator also mentioned Ukraine:
“Vladimir Putin actually cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine in 2006, in 2009, and in 2014. He invaded Ukraine, he annexed Crimea in part to cut off access to the natural gas and oil resources. It’s this pattern that Vladimir Putin has of using energy as a weapon. The best defense against this weapon is for these countries in Europe to have the kind of energy diversity and energy security that I’ve recommended,” he wrote.
As it was reported, American President Donald Trump claimed on July 16 that the United States will compete with Nord Stream 2, the Russian gas pipeline.
As is known, Gazprom and his partners are intended to begin the realization of the Nord Stream 2 project, which costs ten billion dollars in April 2018. It is expected that the 1200 km gas pipeline will be laid through the Baltic Sea, and will connect Russia and Germany passing Ukraine, Poland, and Baltic countries. The capacity of the gas pipeline will be twice increased than the first Nord Stream. The construction is estimated to be completed by the end of 2019.
Ukraine is adamantly opposed to the construction by calling it politically motivated and suggesting the EU to create a consortium with the involvement of European companies to manage the existing more efficient transportation route through Ukraine. A number of EU countries have expressed their disagreement with the Nord Stream 2 project in particular Poland and Lithuania.