Ukraine says Nord Stream 2 deal fails to allay security fears

Kiev, Jul 22 (EFE).- Ukraine criticized on Thursday a decision by the United States and Germany to allow the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline to proceed to deliver natural gas to Germany, bypassing Ukraine.

Kiev said the US-German deal was taken without taking Ukraine’s security concerns into account and “violates the diversification principle of the EU Energy Union.”

Ukrainian officials said the deal did not mention how Germany and the US would prevent Russia from using the pipeline as an energy weapon against Ukraine, which Kiev claims is inevitable.

“Russia will lose its dependence on Ukraine gas transit once the Nord Stream 2 becomes operational,” advisor to theCEO of Ukraine state energy company Naftogaz, Svitlana Zalishchuk, told Efe.

“This would worsen Ukraine’s security situation, because Russia will be able to escalate its military incursions into our territory and Ukraine will have less leverage to resist,” she added.

According to Zalishchuk, the deal is a repeat of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances agreement in which Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for security by the US, UK and Russia.

But Kiev claims the West failed to fulfill its obligations to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

“Declarations that they (Germany and US) will fight against Russian threats are just empty words if there are no concrete legal commitments,” Zalishchuk warned.

Germany has previously refused to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons.

“Accepting this deal would be a betrayal of Ukraine’s national interests,” Zalishchuk said, adding that Kiev would continue to counteract the NS2 with all available legal and political measures.

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