MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. The American authorities would be better off devoting their energies to solving the power outage crisis in Texas, where the population has been left without heat and other crucial daily utilities, rather than focusing on Nord Stream 2, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
He noted that Nord Stream 2 is a favorable project, relevant to the energy security of Europe, especially given the existing turbulence due to climate change. What’s more, it has nothing at all to do with the energy supply of the United States of America.
"Perhaps, it makes sense for our American partners to be less preoccupied with Nord Stream 2 and to be more concerned about the events in Houston, Texas, namely the power and heat supplies [in this state]. Of course, gas would not hurt there either," the Kremlin official pointed out.
Responding to a question on US-German negotiations over Nord Stream 2, Peskov said that the Kremlin knows nothing about them. "We proceed based on the numerous statements of our colleagues in Germany about the need to complete this project, [which] still should be completed and launched," Peskov specified.
According to the latest data, about 3.2 million households in Texas are dealing with blackouts and the loss of key utilities because of a freak winter storm. More than 260,000 of them have been left without running water.
Meanwhile, much of the Lone Star state is still being pummeled by freezing temperatures, an abnormality for the entire region. According to Texas TV channels, local residents who were left without electricity are trying to warm up in their cars. At least in one case, this led to carbon monoxide poisoning. Attempts to get warm by using fireplaces and gas stoves, or generators, have sparked fires. Some stores are not operating because of the power outages, while long lines have popped up in front of stores that are functioning. Federal authorities are taking steps to help the residents of Texas and other states which have suffered most from the blizzard and the freezing weather accompanying it, US Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday.
The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two pipeline routes with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The construction of the pipeline was suspended in December 2019 after Switzerland's Allseas stopped pipe-laying work due to looming US sanctions at that time. In December 2020, project operator Nord Stream 2 AG resumed the pipe-laying operation. Gazprom is counting on commissioning Nord Stream 2 within a reasonable time frame.