Austria, OMV have no plans to quit Nord Stream 2 project, says President
Vienna and the Austrian oil and gas company OMV have no plans to quit the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction project, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen told a press conference following the talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Wednesday.
“Austria and particularly the oil and gas company OMV have no plans to quit the Nord Stream 2 project,” he said.
To defend against the US pressure placed in relation to the Nord Stream 2 project Austria does not need weapons, all that is needed is political will, Putin told a press conference following the talks.
“Austria is not the biggest country in the world, but to defend national interests neither nuclear weapons nor territory are needed. It’s just the political will that is required,” Putin said.
According to him, the companies working on the American market cannot but take this into account. “What’s here to hide, the dependency on the US dollar and cooperation is big in the modern world, but this is a sovereign decision of the country or a company of our partner,” he clarified. “As we are aware, the OMV company is willing to work with us in the future as well in spite of such an attempt to impose such an unjust competition.”
The Russian President underlined that he believes other companies also realize their responsibility towards the economies of their countries. He added that the political choice of the partners will influence or affect the price for energy for end consumers. “Russia is ready to implement this project until the end. I believe we will see it to its logical finish,” Putin said.
The President emotionally emphasized that “it is easier to work with Turks than with Europeans,” talking about the TurkStream project. “[Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan made the decision and implemented it, while there are 27 countries here to negotiate with, we’ve been harping on the same string for years and nothing is happening,” Putin lamented. Nevertheless, he pointed out that the European Union is the Russian biggest trading partner, the trade volumes are approaching the $300 billion mark and, therefore, the lively interest in realizing such large-scale projects, which correspond to the interests of the whole Europe, will prevail.
The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction of two lines of a gas pipeline with total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters of gas per year, running from Russia to Europe across the Baltic Sea. The 9.5 bln euro project is expected to start operations before late 2019. Gazprom’s European partners in the project are Germany’s Wintershall and Uniper, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie and the Britis-Dutch Shell.