The US State Department expressed its strong opposition to the Turkish-Russian TurkStream gas pipeline saying that together with the Nord Stream 2 they undermine the European energy security and serve only the Russian interests.

“The United States continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream,” a unnamed State Department official told the Greek website Hellas Journal.

“We believe the Nord Stream 2 and the TurkStream do nothing to advance Europe’s energy security goals and would provide Russia another tool for the political and economic coercion of European countries, especially Ukraine,” the official added.

“Russia understands that these projects are dividing Europe, and is using that to its advantage,” the official was quoted as saying.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated the TurkStream project at a ceremony in Istanbul on Wednesday.

TurkStream gas pipeline carries Russian natural gas to southern Europe through Turkey, while the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carries gas through the Baltic Sea.

Russian gas producer Gazprom will ship about 3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year to Bulgaria via TurkStream, replacing a route that formerly passed through Ukraine and Romania. Gazprom shipped about 3 bcm to Greece and about 500,000 mcm to North Macedonia via that route last year, Reuters has reported.

Russia is building TurkStream in two pipelines, each with an annual capacity of 15.75 bcm. The first pipeline will supply Turkey and the second will extend from Bulgaria to Serbia and Hungary, Reuters said.