Russian President Vladimir met with the head of Severstal (No.15 in the rating of 200 largest private companies of Russia Forbes) billionaire Alexei Mordashov and assured him that the company's products will be in demand in Russia.
The meeting took place in the residence of the head of state in Novo-Ogarevo, the press service of the Kremlin said on Wednesday, February 20. During the conversation, the chairman of the board of directors and the main shareholder of Severstal (its share is 79.2%) informed Putin of the company's participation in important projects of Gazprom and Transneft, including export ones.
The Russian president expressed confidence that these companies will build other gas pipelines, including the Nord Stream-2. "The Nord Stream - 2, I think, will be realized," Putin said.
He recalled that Gazprom is doing all the building of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey. And also there is a big work on the construction of gas pipelines in the east of Russia. "So, I'm sure the volumes are provided for you," the head of state stressed.
"Yes, we are counting on these orders," Mordashov said for his part. He expressed his gratitude to Gazprom, primarily for the volume of orders that they give to Severstal.
Nord Stream-2 and US sanctions
The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction, by 2019, of two strings of a trunk gas pipeline from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The length of the gas pipeline, which is supposed to be laid next to the "Nord Stream", which fully entered service in October 2012, will exceed 1200 km.
The capacity of the gas pipeline is 55 billion cubic meters. m per year. It is planned to build it by 2019. To implement the project in Switzerland, the company created Nord Stream 2 AG, which is wholly owned by Gazprom.
The cost of the Nord Stream-2 project (Nord Stream 2) is estimated at € 9.5 billion ($ 11.8 billion).
In April 2017, the leaders of the German Wintershall and Uniper, the French ENGIE, the Austrian OMV and the Dutch-British Royal Dutch Shell signed an agreement to finance 50% of the Nord Stream-2 project. The contribution of each company should be € 950 million. The total amount of financing is € 4.75 billion. Russian Gazprom should invest the remaining 50% in the project. In January 2018, Nord Stream 2 AG CFO Paul Corcoran said that in 2017 the Nord Stream 2 project (Nord Stream 2) was financed in the amount of € 3 billion. "The money is distributed in equal shares between Western investors and Gazprom "- said Corcoran during the European Gas Conference in Vienna (quoted by TASS).
All of the five largest European companies that became Gazprom's partners in Nord Stream-2, including Germany's Wintershall and Uniper, Austrian OMV, the Dutch-British Royal Dutch Shell and the French ENGIE, fulfilled their annual obligations to finance the project. From the financial report of the Austrian OMV, published on February 20, 2018, it follows that the company financed Nord Stream-2 in 2017 for € 324 million. "In 2017, the first payments were made under financing agreements for the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project , as a result of which a cash outflow of € 324 million was fixed, "the document says.
European companies continue to finance Nord Stream-2, despite the opposition of the United States.
On August 2, 2017, US President Donald Trump signed the law "On confrontation with America's opponents through sanctions" (CAATSA).
The new law came into force on January 29, 2018. The document expands a number of sectoral sanctions against the Russian economy and introduces restrictions on Russian energy projects, including in Europe. Under the restrictions are projects in which Russian sub-contracting companies own 33% or more. The document provides for sanctions against companies that are going to invest in the construction of Russian export pipelines more than $ 5 million per year or a million at a time, as well as provide services or provide information support.
A separate paragraph of the law speaks of the US aspiration to obstruct the Nord Stream-2 project. "Continue to confront Nord Stream 2, given its detrimental impact on the energy security of the European Union, the development of the gas market in Central and Eastern Europe and the energy reforms in Ukraine," the document says.
On October 31, 2017, Washington explained its position on the participation of Western companies in the Northern Stream-2. Then, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury clarified new anti-Russian sanctions and the issue of energy security for US allies. Of these, it follows that Washington must implement sanctions in coordination with its partners, including the European Union.
With respect to Gazprom, which plans to build the Nord Stream-2, the United States imposed sanctions in 2014. Severstal, which supplies pipes to a gas monopoly, is not included in the US sanctions lists.
Mordashov and the "Kremlin report"
And the main shareholder and head of the company - Alexei Mordashov - was included by the US Treasury in the so-called "Kremlin report". The document was submitted to the US Congress on January 29, 2018. In it were all the 96 billionaires on the Russian list of Forbes.
A day later, US Treasury Secretary Steve Munchin promised that new sanctions would follow the publication of the "Kremlin report". "In no case should we think that we will not apply sanctions to anyone in this report," Mnuchin said at a hearing in the Senate Banking Committee.
At present, Forbes estimates Mordashov's fortune at $ 19.4 billion. In the Forbes rating of the richest Russians in real time, the head of Severstal ranks second, behind Vladimir Lysin, the head and owner of NLMK (84%). Its current state is estimated at $ 20.5 billion.