Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Kremlin, said on Friday, August 20 that her visit was farewell, but at the same time filled with constructiveness.
“I am sure it will be not only a farewell visit associated with your decision not to be elected further as Federal Chancellor, but also a visit filled with such a serious, business-like core,” the President said during a press conference following the meeting.
The Russian leader also announced that the construction of Nord Stream 2 (SP-2) is nearing completion, 15 km by sea are left. According to him, the route of gas transportation to Europe via the pipeline is 2 thousand km shorter than the transit route through Ukraine, and the project itself will reduce emissions five times during the transit of Russian gas to Europe.
In turn, following the talks, Merkel said that she had discussed the SP-2 with Putin and the agreements concluded with the United States under the draft.
During the meeting, Putin also noted that Ukraine is legally preparing to withdraw from the Minsk agreements. In this regard, he called on the German Chancellor during her visit to Ukraine to influence Kiev and encourage him to fulfill all obligations under the Minsk agreements.
The talks between the heads of state lasted for about three hours.
On July 21, it became known that Germany and the United States had reached an agreement on the SP-2. According to the US Department of State, Berlin has agreed to take measures to support the European energy market, up to and including sanctions against Russia, if it restricts energy supplies.
The German authorities have pledged to allocate € 200 million to support Ukraine’s energy sector and to organize a $ 1 billion fund that will ensure the country’s energy security. Germany, within the framework of the agreements, will support the US demand to extend the agreement on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine, which expires in 2024.
Nord Stream 2 is being built from Russia to Germany along the Baltic seabed with the aim of direct gas supplies to Europe. The EU countries mainly support the project and participate in its implementation. The Baltic states, Poland, the USA and Ukraine are opposed. The latter fears a halt in the transit of Russian gas through its territory. The pipeline is scheduled to be completed on 23 August.