The Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Selenskyj visits the Chancellor. You are giving advice on the “Nord Stream 2” gas pipeline, and Vladimir Putin intervening remotely.
Berlin / Munich – “Nord Stream 2” remains the bone of contention on the diplomatic stage. The gas pipeline project, which is supposed to transport Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, is not only met with incomprehension by Joe Biden’s US government, Ukraine also has no support for the infrastructure project. The Ukrainian head of state described the German-Russian pipeline project as a “great threat” to his country. However, Chancellor Angela Merkel assured: “For us, Ukraine will remain a gas transit country, even if Nord Stream 2 is to be completed.”
Germany takes Ukraine’s concerns about the pipeline that is supposed to deliver Russian natural gas directly to Germany through the Baltic Sea “very seriously”. And underlined: “I keep my promises, and I think that applies to every other German Chancellor”.
“Nord Stream 2”: Pipeline project strains relations with Ukraine and the USA
“Nord Stream 2” has been causing tensions within Europe for years, but also between Berlin and Washington. The issue of gas transit will also play a role in her meeting with US President Joe Biden this week in Washington, said Angela Merkel. Selenskyj used the visit to Berlin to point out his safety concerns with regard to “Nord Stream 2”. The Ukrainian head of state called for multilateral negotiations between the USA, Russia and France to begin.
EU extends economic sanctions against Russia
Aside from the pipeline consultations, Angela Merkel guaranteed her guest 1.5 million doses of vaccine against the corona virus. The relationship between the EU and Russia, on the other hand, is less friendly. The union of states extended the economic sanctions imposed on Russia because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine by a further six months.
The trade and investment restrictions are now valid until January 31 of the coming year, as the representation of the member states announced on July 12 following a decision by the EU foreign ministers in Brussels. Russia criticized the extension. “Of course, such decisions in no way open up new perspectives for the normalization of relations between Moscow and Brussels,” emphasized Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov.
Vladimir Putin: Ukraine “controlled by the West”
At the same time as the Ukrainian-German summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused his counterpart Zelenskyi of lying. Zelenskyi started in 2019 with the election promise to bring peace to the embattled region. “The promises turned out to be a lie,” Putin wrote in an essay published by the Kremlin on July 12. In his letter he also complained that Ukraine is now making “anti-Russian hostility” a state policy and is being controlled by the West. Since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, the relationship between the EU and Russia has hit rock bottom. Government troops are still fighting separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AFP / dpa / jjf)