VILNIUS (Reuters) - Russia’s Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream natural gas pipeline projects threaten to increase Moscow’s political influence in Europe and leave it vulnerable to supply disruptions, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Monday.
Speaking at a conference in Vilnius, Perry said the past disruption of Russian gas supply to Europe “is the key reason why President Trump and I continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction project.”
“Nord Stream 2 is designed to drive the single source gas artery deep into Europe, and a stake through the heart of European stability and security,” Perry said.
“It would increase Russia’s leverage over Europe’s foreign policy and Europe’s vulnerability to a supply disruption.
“Along with the TurkStream pipeline it would enable Moscow to end gas transit through Ukraine by the close of the decade,” he said. The Nord Stream 2 would double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany to 110 billion cubic meters a year and allow Russia to bypass Ukraine, currently its main transit route for European sales.
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Denmark on Wednesday to ignore U.S. pressure and “show it has sovereignty” by allowing Nord Stream 2 to go through its territory.
Led by Russian gas producer Gazprom, the project is also backed by Germany’s Uniper and BASF’s Wintershall, Shell, Austria’s OMV and Engie of France.
Reporting by Andrius Sytas; editing by Jason Neely