- Pipeline to pump Russian gas to Germany, nearing completion
- Germany and the United States have reached an agreement to help protect the interests of the Ukraine
- Merkel says Germany has tools to act so unhappy with Russia
- Kiev does not know whether Moscow will meet its obligations
BERLIN / KYIV, July 22 (Hfrance.fr) - The chancellorGerman Angela Merkel on Thursday defended a deal with the United States allowing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to operate as a pragmatic compromise, but Ukraine said it was too weak to guarantee Russia's behavior as desired Kiev and the West.
Ukraine has long opposed the nearly completed $ 11 billion project that will bring Russian gas to Germany, because it will give Moscow the option of stopping the flow of gas through Ukraine, a move that would deprive Kiev of billions of dollars in lucrative transit fees and, it argues, jeopardize its security.
The current transit agreement expires in 2024 and Russia has made it clear that it will only extend it if trade terms are right .
Despite long-standing US objections to the project, President Joe Biden's administrationconcluded that she was too far advanced to stop. Germany, which strongly supports the pipeline, and the United States on Wednesday announced what amounted to a truce on the pipeline. learn more
In its terms, Germany is committed to responding to any Russian attempt to use energy as a weapon against the 'Ukraine and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The deal also included a commitment to help Ukraine continue to receive fresh transi t once Nord Stream 2, now 98% complete, is operational.
Merkel said on Thursday that she had obtained Russian assurances that Moscow would not use the pipeline as a weapon but that Berlin was ready to respond with sanctions if it did.
"After all, we do notYou are not without the tools to do something, "said Merkel, adding that she hoped sanctions against Moscow would not be necessary.
Kiev wanted the project to be completely stopped and cited Russia 's annexation in 2014 of the Ukrainian region of Crimea and its support for the separatists pro-Russian conflict in eastern Ukraine as reasons not to trust Moscow.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters on Thursday that the US-German deal was too weak.
"There is a fundamental problem ... we don't still not know if Russia is ready to properly fulfill its obligations and its part regarding the energy security of Ukraine and the preservation of the role of Ukraine as a transit state ", a declared Kuleba.
Ukraine has started official consultations with the European Union and Germany on Nord Stream 2. find out more
Kuleba's predecessor Pavlo Klimkin said he feared Ukraine would be sidelined.
"We are not listened to, we are not looking for solutions at the same table with the US, EU and Germany as we should. not even part of the process "he said.
" We make a lot of emotional statements that have the same force as the last year 's snow. "
The Kremlin gave a mixed reception to the US-German deal, saying it didn ' t disagreed with some of the language used aboutof Russia and that Moscow had never used energy as a geopolitical weapon. learn more
"Russia has always been and remains a responsible guarantor of energy security on the European continent, or I would say even on a larger global scale ", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. .
Russia was ready to discuss the possibility of extending its gas transit agreement with Ukraine beyond 2024, Peskov added . Additional reporting by Natalia Zinets in Kiev, Madeline Chambers in Berlin and Dmitry Antonov and Alexander Marrow in Moscow Writing by Andrew Osborn Editing by Gareth Jones
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