He said this in an interview with journalists from the Normandy Four countries and the United States - Washington Post, Liberation, Funke Media, Novoe Vremya, and Novaya Gazeta, the presidential press service reported.
According to Zelensky, Nord Stream 2 is a priority topic on the agenda of his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington.
"But this is a long way, even if 1% of the work remains until the full completion of Nord Stream 2. To build a gas pipeline is one thing and to launch it is another, it takes time. It is necessary to comply with international law and international energy standards. Guarantees must also be considered. We will use this time to protect our own interests," Zelensky said.
According to him, even after the pipeline is built, it is likely that it will not start operating.
Commenting on the intentions by the United States and Germany to invest $1 billion in Ukraine's renewable energy as compensation for the losses from the launch of the Nord Stream 2 project, Zelensky said that Ukraine would lose about $2 billion a year due to the termination of gas transit through its territory.
In addition, natural gas prices may rise for Ukrainian consumers, as less fuel will be transported through the Ukrainian pipeline, Zelensky said.
"Nord Stream 2 is a weapon. Moscow may create a shortage of supplies in the gas market and thus raise the price. In today's world, it is not necessary to buy machine guns to damage the country. You can just use economic instruments," he said.
According to Zelensky, Ukraine can switch to renewable energy sources in a few years if the processes on the cheap production of green hydrogen are established.
"Technically, we could even transport green hydrogen through our pipelines. But we are still at the very beginning," he concluded.
The United States and Germany in July agreed to settle a dispute over the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The agreement stipulates that Washington renounces its intention to impose sanctions on participants in the Nord Stream 2 project, but EU sanctions can be imposed on Moscow if Russia uses the pipeline as a tool of energy pressure.
The agreement also stipulates that Ukraine will remain a transit route for natural gas. Germany pledged to use all the levers to persuade Russia to extend its gas transit contract with Ukraine, which expires at the end of 2024.
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