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EU leaders say Nord Stream 2 should feature in sanctions against Russia


Ukraine requests that the EU quickly define a list of sanctions against Russia for use if Russia chooses to increase its military aggression towards Kyiv.

As concerns mount about President Vladimir Putin’s motives and increasing Russian troop presence close to the Ukrainian border, the call was made.

Dmytro Kuleba said that Russia’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba suggested, “If at all you set up or put together a serious program of sanctions, and let Russia know what is going to happen, then Russia will be deterred.”

Kuleba CNBC’s Hadley Gamble Thursday expressed his dissatisfaction with EU leaders.

EU head of state are discussing the intensified tensions along Ukraine’s border with Russia in Brussels this Thursday. Although it is not clear how far the EU heads of state will go to stop Russia’s military activities, some EU leaders agree with Ukraine that they need to develop a set of sanctions soon.

Nord Stream 2

Some European capitals even suggested that Nord Stream 2, a controversial gas pipeline, be included on a possible list of sanctions against Russia.

Gitanas Nausa, president of Lithuania said that he would raise the issue as it is an instrument which could prove very powerful in relations to Russia.

This project is designed to deliver gas to Europe via Russia and Germany. The pipeline is still awaiting regulatory approval, and it has become a political sham.

Some politicians in Germany and other countries argue that the pipeline is an economic issue. The pipeline’s critics claim it makes Europe more dependent on Russia.

Germany’s foreign affairs minister Annalena Baerbock stated that Nord Stream 2 shouldn’t be permitted to operate if Russia is more aggressive toward Ukraine.

Putin had previously urged EU officials to support the project. He claimed that it was an easy way to lower energy prices in the region.

According to Reuters reports, a Kremlin spokesperson stated that Nord Stream 2 was in Germany’s interests.

“Energy Policy out of Conflict”

“It would have been important that we also decided that Nord Stream 2 was on the table.” [in terms of sanctions]Arturs Karins (the prime minister of Latvia) also stated this in Brussels.

Karins stated that if there was a surge in military activity, this project would be stopped.

But not everyone agrees. CNBC spoke with Sanna Marin, the Finish Prime Minister. She said that it was important for energy policy to remain separate from conflict.

These differing views show how difficult it is for EU leaders find common ground to deal with Russia’s aggression.

Janez Jansa, the Prime Minister of Slovenia, stated that “military concentrations” near Ukrainian borders are “not usual for regular military drills.”

He stated that “there is no doubt Russia uses military power to exert pressure.”

Conversations with Russia

Some EU leaders feel that some dialogue should be had with Russia in order to avoid any further escalation.

“I strongly believe … we need to speak with Russia also,” Xavier Bettel, the prime minister of Luxembourg, told CNBC.

The format and effectiveness of the talks were not crucial, he said.

France and Germany could reach out to Moscow or Kyiv with the goal of reaching a compromise. These talks will not include all of the EU within the short-term.