Naftogaz states NATO-Russia talks should focus on Nord Stream 2

Naftogaz says NATO-Russia talks must prioritize Nord Stream 2

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The president of Ukrainian state energy giant Naftogaz states it is ridiculous for Nord Stream 2 not to be amongst the leading concerns of worldwide talks with the Kremlin, duplicating his require additional sanctions on the gas pipeline to discourage another Russian attack.

His remarks come soon after a conference of the NATO-Russia Council onWednesday It was the 2nd top-level conference today in between Western authorities and Russia after prominent talks in between the U.S. and Kremlin authorities onMonday A more conference is happening at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna Thursday.

Talks are requiring to attempt to pacify a crisis activated by the mass event of Russian soldiers near Ukraine, although the method forward stays uncertain, and Moscow has actually cautioned the scenario is “very dangerous.”

Speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in Kyiv, Ukraine on Thursday, Naftogaz CEO Yuriy Vitrenko stated he had actually been amazed to see that Nord Stream 2 did not seem a main part of the conversations.

“It is really difficult to understand how come it can be unnoticed or it bears no consequences? That is something that should come first, so first they should sanction Nord Stream 2. They should show again their firm stance to Putin,” Vitrenko stated.

“And, for example, if somebody wants to discuss some further actions if there is further aggression on the Russian side, they should be talking about Nord Stream 1. So, I’m not saying that Nord Stream 2 is the only thing that should be on the agenda, but it should come first just to show that the West is serious.”

Vitrenko stated a plan of extra sanctions ought to then be prepared if Russia is to attack Ukraine.

View of pipeline systems and shut-off gadgets at the gas getting station of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline.

Stefan Sauer|photo alliance|Getty Images

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is not yet functional, is developed to provide Russian gas straight to Germany by means of the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine andPoland The $11 billion job is owned by Russia’s state-backed energy giant Gazprom and looks for to double the existing capability of Nord Stream 1.

Critics argue the pipeline is not suitable with European environment objectives, deepens the area’s reliance on Russian energy exports and will probably enhance Russian President Vladimir Putin’s financial and political impact over the area.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, leading the U.S. delegation at the different talks today, informed press reporters on Wednesday that Russia’s habits towards Ukraine would play a crucial function in the fate of the gas pipeline.

“From our perspective, it’s very hard to see gas flowing through the pipeline or for it to become operational if Russia renews its aggression on Ukraine,” Sherman stated soon after the NATO-Russia Council.

However, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht has actually warned versus drawing a link in between Nord Stream 2 and the increased stress in between Russia and its next-door neighbor of Ukraine.

“We need to solve this conflict, and we need to solve it in talks — that’s the opportunity that we have at the moment, and we should use it rather than draw a link to projects that have no connection to this conflict,” Lambrecht informed the German broadcaster RBB on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Kremlin representative Dmitry Peskov informed press reporters on Thursday that Nord Stream 2 was a “commercial project,” echoing Putin’s remarks to CNBC in October in 2015. Peskov likewise stated it would be “absurd” to connect the gas pipeline to increased stress in between Russia andEurope

Russia attack into Ukraine ‘rather most likely’

Ukraine, a previous Soviet Republic that is something of a frontier in between Russia and the rest of Europe, has aspirations to sign up with the EU and possibly even end up being a member of the Western military alliance of NATO.

Russia is emphatically opposed to this possibility. The Kremlin has actually required the U.S. avoid an additional eastward growth of NATO and should not enable previous Soviet specifies to sign up with the alliance.

Kyiv’s relations with Russia plunged in 2014 after Moscow annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine and supported pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass area.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday declared the group’s “open door policy” and the right for each nation to select its own security plans. He stated both Russia and NATO were prepared to resume talks following a “very serious and direct exchange” on the scenario around Ukraine.

Vitrenko informed CNBC on Thursday that a Russian attack into Ukraine appeared “rather likely”, prior to including that he was still confident the West would persevere versus any possible act of aggressiveness.

“I’m not in a position to teach the U.S. government how to do again its international negotiations,” Vitrenko stated when asked whether American authorities ought to be taking a harder line with their Russian equivalents.

“My personal experience in dealing with Putin is that you can only make him do the right thing if you are prepared to confront Russia,” he included. “So, they comprehend just strong positions in settlements, so unless you are all set to reveal that you have a strong position [and] you prepare beforehand, you have no opportunity to win versus Putin.”

— CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt added to this report.