Rome [Italy], November 29 ( ANI/Sputnik): Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will not increase Europe's dependence on Russian gas, and the project should be continued.
"With or without Nord Stream 2, we depend on Russian gas in a certain way. That is a fact. I agree that eventually, we need to decrease this dependence on Moscow. But I do not think that Nord Stream 2 will increase it. The other way around, a new route after the opening will diversify the routes of supplies. However, Russia has always respected commitments, and the issue now is that it is not expanding the supplies. I suppose, anyway, it is necessary to proceed in the gas pipeline construction on the bottom of the Baltic Sea," the Austrian chancellor told the Italian Corriere della Sera newspaper.
Amid the energy crisis in Europe, Russia has repeatedly stated that it fulfils its obligations of gas supplies and is ready to step up gas volume delivered to the EU.
In early November, newly-appointed Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Linhart told Sputnik that Nord Stream 2 contributes to the energy security of Europe.
The Nord Stream 2 project is designed to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea. The project is actively opposed by the United States that is promoting its liquefied natural gas in Europe, and Ukraine that fears losing gas transit revenues. In December 2020, Washington imposed sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and urged companies to immediately stop laying the pipeline. Moscow adopts the position that Nord Stream 2 is a commercial project and is beneficial both to Russia and the EU. (ANI/Sputnik)