Shares in Russia’s gas producer Gazprom plummeted last week after the European Parliament voted to condemn the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is planned to deliver gas from Russia to Germany.
The company’s shares opening down 1.6pc in Moscow following the motion that described the pipeline as “a political project that poses a threat to European energy security”.
Although the vote does not have the ability to stop the construction of the project, it has highlighted the extent of the reservations amongst European politicians to the project, which will increase the amount of gas Russia can pump to Germany by two-fold via the Baltic Sea.
Gazprom has stated that the pipeline is required to ensure sufficient supplies to Europe, the Kremlin’s most important and profitable energy export market.
The US is one of the project’s major opponents and has threaten to sanction it through five European companies that have agreed to fund half of its costs: Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Wintershall and Uniper.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has blamed lobbyists for the result of the vote.
“This is not the first time we are dealing with the blocking of peaceful, advantageous, and promising energy projects by European politicians,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “These people, at least many of them, are simply on the payroll of certain groups of lobbyists,” she added.