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German business wants Berlin to be go-between in Nord Stream-2 implementation

May 13, 20:51 UTC+3 BERLIN

Germany’s Minister of Economy and Energy Peter Altmaier on Sunday set off for a visit to Ukraine to go further to Russia on Monday

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© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

BERLIN, May 13. /TASS/. Germany’s government should act as a mediator between Moscow and Kiev as concerns the implementation of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project, Michael Harms, executive director of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, said in an interview with DPA posted on Sunday.

"The German government can be a go-between, since Germany and its economy are playing a major role in the implementation of the project," he said, adding that gas talks between Moscow and Kiev focused primarily on the volumes of gas to be supplied to Europe via Ukraine.

"There is common understanding that Ukraine’s transit network will be needed as the European Union’s demand in gas is increasing while Nord Strem-2 will not be able to operate to its full capacity for years," Harms said. "The question is in the volume of gas to be transited the two sides will be able to agree."

Set up in October 1952, the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations represents Germany’s economic interests in countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and in Central Asia. Headquartered in Berlin, it unites about 150 companies, primarily medium-sized businesses, and big industrial associations.

Germany’s Minister of Economy and Energy Peter Altmaier on Sunday set off for a visit to Ukraine to go further to Russia on Monday. Before the takeoff, he told journalists he planned to agree "a general concept in the area of economic policy" that would be okeyed by both Russia and Ukraine.

Nord Stream-2 is an international project for the construction of a gas pipeline that will run across the bottom of the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast to Germany bypassing transit states, such as Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic countries.

The new 1,200 kilometer pipeline, basically following the same route as Nord Stream, will traverse economic zones and territorial water of five countries, namely Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. The pipeline’s capacity will be 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year and it is planned to be commissioned in late 2019.

The aggregate cost of the project is estimated at 9.5 billion euro. Russia’s gas giant Gazprom is the sole stakeholder in Nord Stream 2 AG. Gazprom’s European project partners are Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie, and British-Dutch Shell.

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