Slovak President Andrej Kiska said on Thursday that the proposed Nord Stream II pipeline could put Ukraine's and European energy security in jeopardy.
He made the remarks during a visit to Eustream's compressor station in Velke Kapusany in the astern Slovakia.
"That's because once complete Ukraine could be easily cut off from Russian gas, which could bring catastrophic consequences to this country," stressed Kiska.
Kiska emphasised that Slovakia plays an important role in the transport of gas.
"It's not just about trade, either: as gas can be used for blackmail purposes or as a political tool," claimed the president, adding that it's important to realise that the existing Nord Stream I pipeline is not utilised to full capacity.
"This means that the existing capacity is fully adequate for transporting Russian gas to Europe," said Kiska.
Project Nord Stream was also criticised by European Commission.
"By reducing the number of transport routes from three to two, this project will even decrease the security of gas supplies to Europe," stressed Livia Vasakova from the European Commission Representation Office in Slovakia. She added that the Commission is currently trying to hold a debate involving several aspects of the issue with the German gas regulator and companies involved in the project.
"We're interested in seeing the fundamental aspects of European legislative moulding the framework for the Nord Stream II project," said Vasakova.
Slovak gas transport operator Eustream General Director Rastislav Nukovic warned on Thursday that if Nord Stream II leads to complete sidelining of Ukraine, this will not only endanger Slovakia in energy terms but also the entire European Union (EU).
"There are certain arguments that Nord Stream II has its rationale, but we believe that if this is linked to a complete halt of the gas flow through Ukraine, it's a risk for the EU