Nord Stream 2 Launch May De-escalate Ukraine Tensions, French Economy Minister Says
14:14 GMT 08.02.2022 (Updated: 21:19 GMT 19.10.2022)
PARIS (Sputnik) – The launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is one of the main components of de-escalating tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.
“It is not the United States but Europe that will have to face the consequences of a conflict in Ukraine in terms electricity prices. The opening of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is one of the key points of the negotiation and without doubt one of the key points of the way out of crisis with Russia”, Le Maire told the France Inter broadcaster.
The launch of Nord Stream 2 is of strategic importance to both Russia and Europe, he stressed.
On Monday, US President Joe Biden threatened to halt the gas project should Russia proceed with its alleged plan to invade Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly called on Western nations to stop politicising Nord Stream 2, which was completed on 10 September, saying that it is a commercial project beneficial to both Russia and the European Union. The project is mainly opposed by the United States promoting its liquefied natural gas in Europe.
The Ukrainian crisis has escalated in recent months, driven by Western allegations of Russian plans to attack Ukraine. Moscow dismisses the claims, pointing to NATO’s military activities near Russia, which it considers to be a security threat.