Ukraine, Baltics criticize planned gas pipeline expansion

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Riga (dpa) – Ukraine and the Baltic countries questioned the planned expansion of the Baltic Sea gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, in a Thursday meeting in Riga.

If completed, the so-called Nord Stream 2 project would cost Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia millions of dollars in annual pipeline revenues, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said, adding it would deprive the European Union of real energy independence,

“We do believe that this project has nothing based on economic issues – it is more a political one,” he said.

Yatsenyuk, whose government has been fighting Russian-backed separatists since 2014 in eastern Ukraine, called on the EU to “seriously” examine the issue. He warned against allowing Moscow to “facilitate a bottleneck and to control the energy market of the EU, too.”

Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma said she was “highly concerned” about the Nord Stream expansion.

She and Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas called for a thorough EU review of the proposed seabed pipeline.

“It is quite clear that it would have a very significant negative impact on the gas supply of Ukraine,” Roivas said.

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