Russia, Ukraine start EU-backed talks to avoid new gas warsStaff Writer |
Energy Ukraine is anxious...
Moscow and Kiev envoys met in Berlin for EU-backed talks on future Russian gas shipments through Ukraine, which fears being left out in the cold by a major new pipeline.
U.S. President Donald Trump has weighed in on the dispute, charging the pipeline would increasingly make Germany a "captive of Russia" while vowing the United States will compete in Europe with tankerloads of liquified natural gas (LNG).
Russia's state-controlled gas giant Gazprom has already dramatically cut the volume of gas transiting via Ukraine, where an armed conflict has simmered against pro-Moscow rebels since Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Gazprom and its partners plan to complete by late next year Nord Stream 2 - effectively doubling Russian shipments now flowing through the existing Nord Stream 1 line.
Another project set for completion by late 2019, the Turkish Stream pipeline, threatens to further reduce the traditional role of Ukraine as a major gateway into Europe for Russian gas.
The Nord Stream 2 plan has raised fears in the EU, and especially in eastern Europe, of excessive reliance on gas from a hostile Russia that could use energy exports for political leverage. ■
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