Merkel Attempts to Appease Ukraine's Concerns About Nord Stream 2
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Ukraine to reassure President Zelinski about the safety of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the construction of the Russian-German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a "dangerous geopolitical weapon in Moscow's hands," dismissing Angela Merkel's pledges, who supported the project despite the concerns of her Ukrainian counterpart.
The Nord Stream 2 project has dominated discussions between Zelensky and Merkel, who intended to extend the contract before stepping down this fall.
Zelensky added that “We view this project exclusively through the prism of security and consider it a dangerous geopolitical weapon in the hands of the Kremlin.”
The German chancellor attempted to reassure Kyiv once more, stressing that she had reached an agreement with the US, which opposes the project, to enable it to continue if Russia did not use it to destabilize Ukraine, extending the gas transport contract beyond the year 2024.
Merkel stressed that "gas must not be used as a geopolitical weapon."
She also emphasized that the German-American agreement guarantees "sanctions" in the event that gas is used as a weapon.
Merkel noted that these agreements are "binding on future German governments" as she prepares to leave office after a 16 years tenure.
Zelensky pointed that he had only heard of "general notes" from Merkel regarding the extension of the contract with Russia.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which is nearing completion and goes over the Baltic Sea, directly connects Russia and Germany, depriving Ukraine of at least 1.5 billion euros in annual income from Russian gas passing through its territory.