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Russia Warns Cancelling Nord Stream Project Would Hurt Europe

Russia warned December 21 that any move by the European Union to cancel the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia's Baltic coast to Germany would only hurt Europe.

"The sides have reached considerable progress in terms of legal, technical, economic, and financial aspects of this agreement," Russian Economy Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev said December 21 in Brussels.

"Failing to implement it now would be a shot in one's foot from the side of whoever would want to do it." he said.

"This is about Europe's energy balance, safeguarding security of supplies, these are most important questions."

The Nord Stream-2 project, which involves German and Dutch companies as well as Russia's Gazprom, fell into question last week after Italy raised it as an issue during debate over extending Russian economic sanctions.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Berlin's plans to turn Germany into a hub for the distribution of Russian gas through the project, which was intended to bypass Ukraine, "left a dubious taste," especially after a similar South Stream project that would have benefited Italy was blocked by sanctions last year.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and TASS