Kiev, Aug 22 (EFE).- Germany and the European Union are ready to impose new sanctions on Russia if it uses the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as “a weapon”, German chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday during a visit to Kiev.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Ukrainian president Volodimir Zelenski, Merkel said Germany understood Ukraine’s safety concerns about the pipeline.
“We take Ukrainian concerns very seriously, and I discussed them in Moscow with Russian president Vladimir Putin,” Merkel said. “We in Germany, in Europe, will impose new sanctions if Russia uses this pipeline as a weapon”.
Ukrainian president Zelenski said Kiev viewed Nord Stream 2, which will supply Russian gas to the EU bypassing Ukraine, as a security threat.
“Ukraine would be the country most affected by the Nord Stream 2,” Zelenski said. “Even now, before it is even finished, we are seeing who controls the gas prices in Europe and how they are going up.”
The Ukrainian president warned that the construction and implementation of the pipelines “will lead to big risks and will only benefit” Russia.
Merkel emphasized that the deal between Germany and the US aimed to address Ukraine’s security concerns over the pipeline. She also said she discussed with Russian president Putin during her visit to Moscow on August 20 the issue of prolonging the gas transit contract with Ukraine after 2024.
Ukraine’s president said Kiev was expecting to see more concrete actions in response to its concerns over Nord Stream 2.
Merkel also said that the German minister of energy will visit Kiev on Monday for the Crimea Platform summit and will discuss with his Ukrainian counterpart and the US energy secretary the Nord Stream 2 issue.
German foreign minister Heiko Mass, who was supposed to represent the country at the Crimea Platform summit, will not attend because of the situation in Afghanistan, she explained. EFE