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Putin: Nord Stream-2 not an alternative to Ukrainian transit route

The Russian leader stressed that such projects as the Nord Stream-2 and the Turkish Stream "certainly diversify supplies"

MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. The Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project is absolutely depoliticized, it is not an alternative to the Ukrainian transit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after talks with Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

"You know our position - we support implementation of this project, which is undoubtedly absolutely depoliticized. It is purely economic and, moreover, a purely commercial project. The participants calculate their profits in losses from its implementation and conclude it is feasible," the Russian President said.

He stressed that the project "is not even an alternative to the Ukrainian route."

"If Ukraine presents economically grounded factors for using its gas transportation system, we have nothing against continuing cooperation with Ukraine. The question is only in the volumes of pumping," Putin added.

The Russian leader stressed that such projects as the Nord Stream-2 and the Turkish Stream "certainly diversify supplies", improve their quality and stability.

"We know that production in Europe is falling. Liquefied natural gas is not competitive in the European market, at least today. This is an obvious thing. If our partners support this project, then we will also do it," Putin said.

In his turn, Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz said that Vienna supports the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project but its details should be worked out.

"Austria is highly positive on this project," Kurz said.

Earlier it was reported, that in 2017, participants of the Nord Stream-2 project invested 3 billion euros in the Nord Stream-2. CFO Nord Stream 2 AG Paul Corcoran told reporters that the money was distributed in equal shares between Western investors and Gazprom.

About Nord Stream-2

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. Each of the pipeline’s two stretches will have a capacity of 27.5 bln cubic meters. The new pipeline will double the capacity of the first stretch and will basically follow its route.

The total cost of the pipeline is estimated at 9.5 bln euros.

Swiss Nord Stream 2 AG was established for the planning, construction and operation of the gas pipeline. Gazprom is the only shareholder of Nord Stream-2 AG. France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV, British-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall are European partners of Gazprom in the Nord-Stream pipeline project.