U.S. President Donald Trump’s criticism of Russia’s Nord (North) Stream 2 gas pipeline project was aimed at promoting sales of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.
“We consider this to be a manifestation of unfair competition,” Peskov said, adding that U.S. LNG supplies could prove to be much more expensive than the Russian gas via pipelines.
Nord Stream 2 will expand the existing Nord Stream main gas pipeline by linking Russia and Germany via the Baltic seabed, bypassing Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic countries.
Trump lashed the German government on the project during a breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Wednesday.
“It’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump said in a video of the meeting on Twitter.
He also said that the project will make Germany dependent on Russia.
Peskov said Nord Stream 2 will not make Germany, a major buyer of Russian gas, dependent on Russia, and on the contrary it will become a guarantee of stability of gas supplies and “further development of mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.”
He said choosing gas supplier should be based on the buyers’ own benefits.
Russia has obtained construction permits for Nord Stream 2 from Germany, Finland and Sweden, as the pipeline will pass through their maritime exclusive economic zones.
Russian steel companies have shipped several batches of large-diameter pipes to the construction sites. The German section of the pipeline is currently being built.