“We are united in our support of Ukraine. Cooperation gives us power. The European Parliament will advise and monitor the mandate on Nord Stream 2,” Member of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek said at the high-level conference titled Ukraine as a Strategic European Union Energy Partner, which took place in the European Parliament in Brussels last week.
The conference was dedicated to Ukraine’s role in the support and promotion of EU energy security goals as an alternative to Gazprom’s monopoly. “What is very important from our perspective is to know the reason why the Third Energy Package could not be applied to the Baltic part of Nord Stream 2. As a matter of fact, we want to have a possibility to know as members of the European Parliament the legal assessment which was given by the European Commission to the issue,” – Jerzy Buzek noted.
Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Olena Zerkal and Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev participated in the discussion. In his speech, Andriy Kobolyev contrasted Ukraine’s reliable GTS, which is becoming subject to the standard EU regulation, being the most powerful route for transmission of Russian gas to Europe, with Gazprom’s geopolitical project Nord Stream 2.
The European Commission Vice President on the Energy Community Maro? ?ef?ovi? expressed his support for Ukraine’s ambition to remain an important and secure transit country for Russian gas to Europe in future. He also highlighted a big potential in cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in gas supply, energy efficiency, gas exploration and the use of Ukrainian gas storage facilities. Maro? ?ef?ovi? characterized Ukraine’s gas storage facilities as “a strategic asset for energy security in Europe”. The European Commission Vice President appreciated the adoption of the Law “On the Energy Efficiency Fund” by the Ukrainian parliament and announced the Commission’s financial support of EUR 100 million for the Fund for this and the next year.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Olena Zerkal noted that removing gas transit from Ukraine would open the way to full-scale Russian military aggression. Despite tremendous resistance, Ukraine is reforming its energy sector and has achieved a lot, Ms. Zerkal added.
Summing up the conference, Andriy Kobolyev said that open and frank discussion of Nord Stream 2 threats to Europe was a major step forward. “Nord Stream 2 is not a done deal. It's not commercial, it's political and geopolitical tool to divide EU. We all need a Plan B,” Andriy Kobolyev emphasized.