BRUSSELS, December 21. /TASS/. A possible failure of the Nord Stream-2 project will adversely impact Europe’s energy security, Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukayev said on Monday.
"The sides have reached a considerable progress in terms of legal, technical, economic and financial aspects of this agreement. Obviously, the failure of its formalization and implementation would be a sort of shot in the leg from those who are seeking to do that," he said, adding that the project was of major importance for Europe’s energy balance.
Germany's special coordinator for Russia policy Gernot Erler said that implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project from Russia to Germany would ensure energy security in Europe.
"The additional capacities will result in better energy security in Europe," Erler told the German WDR5 radio station. "First of all it is vital to notice that the project is not governmental, but the one is gathering the European companies."
"Russia’s Gazprom does not want depending on transit via Ukraine," he said, adding that the project has some political matters. "We are interested in preventing the project from becoming a unilateral anti-Ukrainian policy. It is not that easy."
The Nord Stream 2 project is a joint venture to build a gas pipeline that would run under the Baltic Sea to provide an additional route for Russian gas supplies to Germany, bypassing the three Baltic countries and Poland.
Russian energy giant Gazprom started the project with a consortium of five large European energy companies, including Shell and E.ON.
The project plans to use the original Nord Stream pipeline for 86% of the route before branching off. It will have a capacity of up to 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, to be supplied to European customers.
Commenting on the extension of the European Union’s (EU) sanctions against Russia, Erler said the reason behind was "no implementation of the Minsk Accords of February 12."
"We are still waiting and hope for that Russia will constructively contribute to the termination of the East Ukraine crisis under the auspices of the agreement," Erler said, noting that the sanctions depend on the implementation of the Minsk Accords.
"The EU has a consensus on the topic, member-countries cannot leave this process," Erler said.