Brussels (Brussels Morning) Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has noted that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been completed and now awaits German regulatory approval.
He pointed out that the import of Russian gas could help bring down record-high gas prices in Europe, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Completion of the pipeline doubles Russia’s gas exporting capacity via the Baltic Sea, but Nord Stream 2 still needs the green light from German regulators, which could take as long as four months.
“Undoubtedly, the quickest launch of Nord Stream 2 would significantly balance out the pricing parameters of natural gas in Europe, including on the spot market”, Peskov told a press conference on Wednesday.
Last week, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin pointed out that Russian Gazprom energy giant’s European customers were “rubbing their hands with glee” over long-term gas contracts.
On Wednesday, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller made clear that Nord Stream 2 will not start transporting gas on 1 October, as had been reported by Bloomberg.
Rosneft interested as well
The same day, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak announced the possibility of the Russian Rosneft energy giant using Nord Stream 2 to export gas to Europe.
At present, Gazprom holds exclusive rights for the export of Russian gas via pipelines. EU regulations stipulate that third parties must have access to pipelines.
Rosneft has been looking to export Russian gas to Europe because it is more lucrative compared to domestic sales. Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin has lobbied the Kremlin to rein in Gazprom’s export rights on several occasions.
Kremlin Spokesman Peskov acknowledged that Rosneft has repeatedly raised the possibility of exporting natural gas to Europe, but he stressed that no decision has been made.Kirill Tachennikov from the Russian Sinara Group investment company said that it is unclear as to whether the EU regulations that require third parties to have access to the pipeline would permit other Russian companies to use Nord Stream 2.