President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the soon-to-be-completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline will carry Russian gas to Europe as a “dangerous geopolitical weapon.”
On Sunday, the Ukrainian leader held talks with Russian Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has strongly opposed Russia’s neighbors Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states at a joint news conference in Kiev.
The $ 12 billion pipeline from the Baltic Sea to Europe’s largest economy is set to double Russia’s natural gas supply to Germany. Kiev eliminates Ukraine by eliminating necessary gas transportation bills.
“We see this project only in terms of security, and we see the Kremlin as a dangerous geopolitical tool,” Zelensky said.
He added that after the completion of the project, the main hazards will be “carried by Ukraine” but the pipeline will be “dangerous to all of Europe”.
“It will only play in the hands of the Russian Federation,” he said.
“Gas should not be used as a geopolitical device,” Merkel told Washington.
A.D. “If there is an extension of the transit contract through Ukraine, it will come down,” she said, referring to the expiration of Moscow’s agreement with Kiev in 2024.
The German leader, who met with Zelinsky two days after his visit to Moscow, said he had extended his contract with Vladimir Putin in 2024.
“We feel a special responsibility,” he said. We take them very seriously.
Zelensky said he and Merkel had discussed the extension, but noted that he had only heard “very general things” so far.
Pipeline construction has caused tensions between Germany and the United States, but Washington has finally lifted sanctions on the Russian-controlled pipeline.
According to Merkel, the German-US agreement defines “sanctions” as “weapons”.
She said she was ready to step down next month after 16 years in power and that the promises were for “future German governments.”
The US-Germany agreement includes a commitment to help Ukraine continue to pay for transportation after the launch of North Stream 2.
But Yuri Vitrenko, head of Ukraine’s state-owned power company Nafthagaz, told Reuters last month that Russia did not expect to pass any gas through Ukraine by 2024.
Merkel has been a key ally of Ukraine since the secession of pro-Crimean and Russian separatists from the east of Moscow in 2014.
But the German chancellor angered Ukrainian officials by sending weapons to Kiev and pushing the North Strait 2 pipeline.
Merkel called for more progress in peace talks in eastern Ukraine and called for “Normandy format” talks on Sunday between the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine.
“In my opinion, this will make progress,” she said. I’m glad Zelenskyy said he would be ready to do that.