Russia ready 'to switch on' Nord Stream II pipeline 'tomorrow' if Europe gives green light

Putin says gas deliveries to Europe reduced when Ukraine and Poland stopped pumping gas through Russian pipelines.

Russia ready 'to switch on' Nord Stream II pipeline 'tomorrow' if Europe gives green light

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow is ready "to switch on" the Nord Stream II pipeline "tomorrow" to deliver gas to Europe if the EU gives a green light.

Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Putin said it only takes pressing a button to put Nord Stream into operation.

He added that the construction of the pipeline was not "for nothing," because Russia mastered technologies and acquired new skills.

The same thing is true about the Nord Stream I pipeline, it can be put into operation very quickly, he said.

Russian energy company Gazprom is waiting for the gas pumping turbine to resume deliveries, he added.

"Give us the turbine -- tomorrow we will turn on Nord Stream," he said.

The Russian president refuted accusations of "energy blackmail," pointing out that Ukraine closed one line of the gas pipeline, pumping fuel to Europe "under a far-fetched excuse."

Poland sanctioned another Russian pipeline, which led to the situation where only one gas pipeline -- Nord Stream I -- remained in operation, he added.

Russia will seek new sales markets in Asia, Putin said.

At the moment there is progress regarding deliveries to China and Mongolia, with the sides having agreed on all major parameters, including prices, he said.

Hüseyin Demir