Putin Proposes to Launch Nord Stream 2 Pipeline to Increase Gas Supplies to Europe
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday night proposed to launch the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline to increase gas supplies to Europe.
“We have another route ready – it is Nord Stream 2. It can be launched,” Putin said when talking about the possibilities for solving the energy crisis in Europe, as reported by the TASS news agency.
The implementation of Nord Stream 2 is one of the ways to increase Russian gas supplies to Europe, although half of its capacity has already been allocated for domestic consumption, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists, adding that this route is currently “problematic”.
“A month and a half ago, in a conversation with (German Chancellor Olaf Scholz) we discussed this issue and I raised this question, I said that Gazprom had allocated capacities and has to do something about it, they cannot be in the air forever,” the Russian leader said.
“So, I warned that we would then use half of the volume designated for Nord Stream for domestic consumption and use, so even if we launch Nord Stream 2 tomorrow, it will not be 55 billion cubic meters annually, but exactly half,” Putin added.
In this regard, Putin stressed that Russian gas company Gazprom has always fulfilled its gas supply obligations and will continue to do so.
“Gazprom has always fulfilled, fulfills and will continue to fulfill all its obligations,” he noted.
Russian gas company Gazprom announced a month ago that it would reduce by 40 percent the supply it was sending through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which connects Russia with Germany, although it attributed this to delays in fixing various equipment by German firm Siemens.
Regarding the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Putin has indicated that if Russia does not recover a turbine, this route may be used to pump only 30 million cubic meters of gas per day instead of the current 60 million.
“If another one arrives, well, two of them will work. And if not, only one will, which has only 30 million cubic meters a day,” he explained.
On the other hand, Putin has urged on Tuesday to lift Western restrictions on Russian grain in order to achieve progress in the export of Ukrainian agricultural production, currently blocked in the country by the Kremlin’s offensive.
“We will facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain, but on the basis of lifting all restrictions related to air deliveries for the export of Russian grain,” the Russian president has sentenced, as reported by the aforementioned agency.
In this context, he said: “The Americans have practically lifted restrictions on Russian fertilizer supplies to the world market. If they sincerely want to improve the situation on the world food markets, I hope the same will happen with export supplies of Russian grain. We are ready, right now. Our export potential is 30 million tons of grain, and it will be 50 million tons according to the results of the current year.”