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Ukrainian minister stresses 'threats' posed by Nord Stream 2 to Europe energy security

Highlights

Talks cover ensuring Europe's security of gas supply

Promises 'should be filled with real content': Haluschenko

Eyeing at reforms aimed at integrating Ukraine energy market into Europe

Russia should not be allowed to use the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline as a political weapon, Ukrainian energy minister Herman Haluschenko said Aug. 23 after meeting with German energy minister Peter Altmeier and US Energy Secretary Jennifer Grenholm, according to the Ukrainian energy ministry.

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The three officials met on the sidelines of the Crimean Platform summit in Kyiv, the ministry said in a statement.

"We discussed with the ministers a list of possibilities that can be implemented," said Halushchenko, urging his colleagues that the promises to Ukraine by the US and Germany to Ukraine "be filled with real content."

The Ukrainian ministry did not disclose any concrete steps or guaranties Halushchenko meant.

Nord Stream 2 is about to flow Russian gas to Western Europe across the Baltic Sea. Like the original Nord Stream, it has a capacity of 55 Bcm/year, although it currently flows above that level.

Opponents of Nord Stream 2 say it will increase Europe's dependence on a single route and source of gas, and would potentially deprive Ukraine and Poland of strategic leverage in terms of Russian gas transit.

The talks between Haluschenko, Altmeier and Grenholm covered the possibilities of ensuring the security of gas supplies of Europe, the importance of continuing transiting gas via the Ukrainian gas transportation system and steps that would provide Ukraine with a guarantee of preserving Ukraine`s position as gas transit route into Europe, the ministry said.

Haluschenko urged his counterparts at the summit to pay special attention in the way of implementing the EU-mandated Third Energy Package -- an ambitious packages of legislative proposals publishing plans for achieving its target of a 55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 -- when it comes to the launch of Nord Stream 2 and tackling the issue of eliminating the monopoly of Russian state gas giant Gazprom monopoly in Europe.

"Europe`s energy security depends on the implementation of the Third Energy Package in relation to Nord Stream 2," Haluschenko said.

Haluschenko stressed the importance of synchronizing Ukraine's energy system with those of EU member states, asking his US and German colleagues to support this effort.

In addition to Ukraine`s concerns over Nord Stream 2, the three top energy officials also discussed the decarbonization of Ukraine's energy sector and introduction of new technologies in its energy production, according to the ministry.

Speaking at a joint press conference following talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Aug. 22., German Chancellor Angela Merkel said further sanctions may be imposed on Russia if it used Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a political weapon against Ukraine.