Support independent journalism in Central & Eastern Europe.
Donate to TOL!
Berlin has until now stressed the pipeline’s commercial advantages, but can no longer ignore the swelling chorus of discontent.11 April 2018
"A Nord Stream 2 project without clarity about the Ukrainian transit role is not possible," she said after talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin yesterday, Deutsche Welle reports.
Ukraine, along with Poland and the Baltic states, strongly oppose the project to build a second Russia-Germany natural gas pipeline across the Baltic, saying it would deprive Ukraine of vital transit fees and increase Europe’s reliance on Russian energy.
Russian state-controlled Gazprom sold record amounts of gas to Germany and other European Union customers last year.
Merkel sought to reassure Poroshenko that Nord Stream 2 would not take Ukraine offstream as a key transit country for Russian gas deliveries to Europe.
“This isn’t only about an economic project. There are political factors to be considered,” Bloomberg quotes her as saying.
On Monday, Poroshenko told the German business newspaper Handelsblatt that Nord Stream 2 could enable an "economic and energy blockade" against Ukraine, DW writes.
But a spokesman for the pipeline said it would still leave plenty of Russian gas available for trans-shipment through Ukraine. Of the 170 billion cubic meters of gas Russia supplied to Europe in 2017, 90 billion went through Ukraine, Bloomberg cites spokesman Sebastian Sass as saying.
Berlin gave commercial approval to Nord Stream 2 last month. Five Western European companies will partner with Gazprom on the $10 billion pipeline, scheduled for completion in late 2019, DW reports in a separate story.
Members of Merkel’s coalition dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent criticism of Nord Stream 2 last week, when he said Germany should not be paying billions of dollars to Russia.
Transitions magazine = Your one-stop source for news, research and analysis on the post-communist region.
Sign up for the free TOL newsletter!
The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.
This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes.
It is a unique and intimate map of the nation.