German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that gas should not be used as a weapon. – We will be in favor of new sanctions against Russia if Moscow tries to use the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a weapon – she noted.
Merkel stressed that Germany is “unanimous with the US that gas cannot be used as a weapon.”
– It is important that Ukraine remains a transit country and that the agreement on the transit of this gas is extended – emphasized the German chancellor. – We want to extend the agreement, which is valid until 2024 (on gas transit from Russia via Ukraine) as soon as possible – she said.
– We take the concern of the Ukrainian side very seriously and that is why I spoke about it during the talks in Moscow, and we made it very clear that we are in favor of new sanctions if Russia tries to use this gas pipeline as a weapon, said Merkel, who visited Russia on Friday.
Zelenskiy said that he had talked with Merkel, inter alia, on the extension of the transit agreement after 2024 and on the energy transformation. As he informed, on Monday in Kiev there will be a meeting of energy ministers of Ukraine, Germany and the USA on gas transit through Ukraine.
– Today, probably no one will deny that the greatest risk in connection with the completion of Nord Stream 2 will be borne by Ukraine – said Zelenskiy.
He also noted that Ukraine’s transition to green energy is a matter of “big money and a long time”. – So I want to understand what Ukraine will receive and what our country may lose after the end of the 2024 (transit) agreement. And who gives specific guarantees to Ukraine – he added.
US foreign minister Antony Blinken announced on Friday the imposition of sanctions on a Russian ship and two Russian citizens in connection with their involvement in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. On the same day, the US imposed sanctions on people and institutions associated with an attempt to poison Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. The sanctions targeted nine people and four Russian chemical weapons research institutes.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / SERGEY DOLZHENKO