HELSINKI, August 21. /TASS/. Europe needs Russian gas supplies, so the Nord Stream -2 project will be implemented, despite threats from the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference following talks with the President of Finland.
"The objective side of the matter is that Europe is interested in receiving Russian gas. I think that the project will be implemented," he said.
However, Putin emphasized that it is theoretically possible "to imagine a situation where the United States will convince Europe to replace Russian gas with American gas."
"If now they convince Europeans that they should buy gas from them at higher prices, then this will be the choice of Europeans. The next step will be subsidizing a non-competitive product in the European market from state budgets. Theoretically, we can imagine this," the Russian President said.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is expected to come into service at the end of 2019. The pipeline is set to run from the Russian coast along the Baltic Sea bed to the German shore. It will go through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries - Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, thus bypassing transit countries of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic states. Each of the pipeline’s two stretches will have a capacity of 27.5 bln cubic meters. The total cost of the project has been estimated at 9.5 bln euro
On August 16, Gazprom reported that Nord Stream 2 has already been built by 73.6%.
Driven by geopolitical considerations, Washington openly opposes the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and is taking effort to block this project. Experts say this way the United States is seeking to push supplies of its liquefied gas to the European market, although it is much more costly than Russia’s. The 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) envisages a possibility of using unilateral restrictions against companies participating in the implementation of the Nord Stream-2 project. Besides that, the US Congress is now drafting at least one more bill on sanctions.