Ukraine PM calls second Russia-Germany pipeline 'anti-European'
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Thursday criticised as "anti-Ukrainian and anti-European" a deal between Russia's energy giant Gazprom and several Western firms to build a second gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea.
In June, Gazprom agreed with Anglo-Dutch Shell, Germany's E.ON and Austria's OMV to build the new gas pipeline -- dubbed Nord Stream-2 -- to Germany, bypassing conflict-torn Ukraine and also EU neighbour Poland.
"When the first Nord Stream was built, it brought the European Union no additional energy independence," Yatsenyuk said after talks with Slovak counterpart Robert Fico in Bratislava.
"The construction of Nord Stream-2 is affecting the security of the continuous gas supply of the EU's southeastern countries. It is a monopolisation of gas supply routes to the EU," he told reporters.
"This project is anti-Ukrainian and anti-European."
Fico said the deal goes against the geopolitical interests of Slovakia and Ukraine and is "in sharp contrast to political talks we held within the EU".
"I am convinced that Western energy companies operating on the territory of EU member states have betrayed other EU countries."
The route under the Baltic Sea from Russia would have a capacity of 55 billion cubic metres per year and would double the flow of the existing Nord Stream pipeline currently linking the two countries.
No timeframe was given for the deal that will boost Germany as a distribution hub for Russian gas in Western Europe but undermines Ukraine and Poland's roles as transit states.
Polish President Andrzej Duda slammed the deal earlier this week, saying it ignores Polish interests.
Moscow has been seeking more gas delivery routes to the EU that bypass Ukraine, despite the bloc's insistence that it wants to cut its dependence on Russia.
Russia and the West are locked in a bitter standoff over the Kremlin's role in Ukraine and a gas dispute between Kiev and Moscow has threatened energy supplies to the EU.
© 2015 AFP