VIENNA, January 24. /TASS/. Austria’s government supports the implementation of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project because it is in the interests of entire Europe, Russian Ambassador to Vienna Dmitry Lyubinsky said in an interview with the Ober·sterreichische Nachrichten newspaper.
He noted that some of the Western mass media and politicians tend to demonize Russia, especially in the context of the Nord Stream-2 project. But pragmatic Europeans, in his words, see the advantages of this project. "Nord Stream-2 is profitable for Austria and entire Europe. That is why that country’s government has repeatedly voiced its support to the implementation of this project," Lyubinsky said.
Austria continues to be Russia’s most important and reliable economic partner in Europe, the ambassador said. The Russian diplomat stressed that Moscow and Vienna have a vast potential for cooperation on the basis of the agreement reached in the previous years.
According to the Russian diplomat, relations between Austria and Russia are characterized by mutual understanding and trust, as well as by respect to each other’s interests. "We have no serious unsettled problems or unresolvable issues that can impact cooperation. On the contrary, we have mutual interest in the development of cooperation in many spheres, especially in the economy and culture. Austria has traditionally been and continues to be one of Russia most important and reliable economic partners in Europe," he said.
He welcomed Austria’s responsible position on many issues of the international agenda and Vienna’s role as a host to United Nations structures.
Nord Stream-2 is an international project for the construction of a gas pipeline that will run across the bottom of the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast to Germany bypassing transit states, such as Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic countries.
The new 1,200 kilometer pipeline, basically following the same route as Nord Stream, will traverse economic zones and territorial water of five countries, namely Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. The pipeline’s capacity will be 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year.
Nord Stream 2 AG is the operator of the pipeline construction. Its sole stakeholder is Russia’s gas giant Gazprom. Gazprom’s European project partners are Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie, and Royal Dutch Shell (the UK and the Netherlands).
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said earlier in January that Russia would be able to finish the construction of Nord Stream-2 on its own as there were no technological obstacles requiring external assistance. According to forecasts, the pipeline might be launched by the end of 2020.