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Delaying Nord Stream 2 is not problem for Russia, but for European consumers — official

Russia's Permanent Representative to the EU believes that the current EC policy is guided by a "populist spirit"

BRUSSELS, December 28. /TASS/. Delaying the certification of Nord Stream 2 is not a problem for Russia, but for European consumers, Russia's Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told TASS.

"This is not a problem for Russia. To begin with, Russia as a state has no direct relation to this project. If we talk about Russia's reputation as a gas supplier, then this delay is also not reflected in it. Russia delivers exactly the volume it signed up for. Even a little more. We have reserves, duplicate transport routes both through Ukraine and through Poland have not disappeared, so we have every opportunity to deliver to the EU countries as much gas as they are willing to buy," he said.

"Only European consumers will suffer from delays in the certification of the Nord Stream 2. Gas through this pipeline, supplied on the basis of long-term contracts, will be the cheapest. After all, in all other cases it is the consumer who pays for additional transport and other costs," he explained.

"In addition, this gas will become the most environmentally friendly in Europe if you look at the carbon footprint, which is so much talked about in Brussels since production and transportation will be carried out under the most modern standards," the diplomat emphasized.

Speaking about the causes of the EU energy crisis, Chizhov noted that the free gas market created by the European Commission (EC) "turned out to be hyper-dependent on the weather". "It is negatively affected by cold, heat, cloudiness, and wind," he said, referring to peak periods of energy demand for heating or cooling, as well as problems with solar and wind generation in adverse weather conditions.

According to the diplomat, the EC and other European institutions "found themselves in a kind of twilight zone, proclaiming their green policy and refusing gas, which they continue to confirm in every possible way" even now, despite the acute energy crisis.

Chizhov believes that the current EC policy is guided by a "populist spirit". "Ursula von der Leyen says that the current crisis is due to the fact that not enough efforts have been made in developing renewable sources in Europe. So if you throw another couple of trillion euro into this furnace, then everything will be fine. You might think that this will make the sun shine brighter, and the wind will blow with the right force and in the right direction," he said.

"The latest statements by President of the European Commission, that the European Commission proposes to ban extending long-term gas supply contracts from 2049, I consider quite positive. It confirms that until 2049 long-term contracts can be concluded, otherwise they could, without batting an eye, introduce this ban earlier," Chizhov noted.

"Generally speaking, it is very easy to set goals until 2049 or 2050, because by that time most of those who make these decisions will not be alive. It is much more difficult to make decisions for the period until 2025 or 2030, for which specific people will be responsible. Here European officials have not been able to agree even on the basic issues of classification of green energy sources - on taxonomy, as they say, here " the diplomat.

The construction of Nord Stream 2 was fully completed on September 10, 2021. To start pumping gas, the pipeline operator needs to get approval from the German regulator. The certification has now been suspended, the operator Nord Stream 2 AG, headquartered in Switzerland, needs to register a subsidiary in Germany.

This week, the Federal Network Agency of Germany announced that a decision on the certification of the Nord Stream 2 operator will not be made in the first half of 2022.

Russia has repeatedly stressed that Nord Stream 2 is a commercial project and is being implemented together with European partners.