Ukraine has begun to leverage its considerable moral capital by taking aim at the remaining sources of revenue for Russian President Vladimir Putin's military transgressions against its erstwhile ally. The current target of Ukrainian wrath is none other than Nord Stream 1, the remaining jewel of Russian pipeline infrastructure.
Late last week Ukraine's state gas company and gas infrastructure operator issued a demand to the German government to either halt or severely curtail gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the head of the gas system operator said on Friday.
"With Naftogaz we sent an appeal to the German economy ministry and the German regulator... on the suspension of Nord Stream 1," the head of Ukraine's gas system operator Serhiy Makogon told national television.
Ukraine says it is willing and able to provide an alternate transport route to the pipeline, which runs under the Baltic, he said.
The other now infamous pipeline running under the Baltic and parallel to Nord Stream 1 is Nord Stream 2, which was the first pipeline casualty of Russia's war in Ukraine. The $11 billion project was meant to double amount of gas flowing into Germany. Though the work on Nord Stream 2 ultimately finished late last year, it has never started and the $11 billion price tag might be viewed as sunk costs.
Analysts say that diverting shipments from the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline might be a tough sell for Germany and the rest of Europe. Its ultimate fate will be inextricably tied to the course of the war in Ukraine.
The head of Naftogaz, Serhiy Makogon, said Russian geopolitical behavior has already violated the fundamental security of supply principle underpinning Nord Stream operations: "We see that Russia violates these principles: creating an artificial gas deficit last year; unilaterally insisting on payment in rubles; suspending gas supplies to Poland, Finland and Bulgaria" as well as invading Ukraine.