Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and one of Germany’s main candidates for the post of Chancellor, Armin Laschet, has threatened the Russian Federation with sanctions if it uses the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline against Ukraine.
“If Russia takes aggressive action against Ukraine again, Germany will take measures at the national level and will advocate for sanctions in the European Union. In this way, we guarantee that Russia will not be able to use the pipeline as a geopolitical weapon,” Lachet said in an interview with Rzeczpospolita newspaper during his visit to Poland.
He believes that the agreement between Germany and the United States on the pipeline provides a tool by which the Russian Federation can be held accountable for destructive actions. Lachet also added that commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and security should be a priority of Germany’s foreign policy.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian politicians, public figures, journalists, and activists wrote a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden. They are asking to reconsider the decision not to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline operator.
The letter emphasises that the statement by the United States and Germany after the agreement reached on the Russian gas pipeline threatens U.S. assistance previously invested in transatlantic security and Ukraine’s transformation and does not provide effective security guarantees for the countries affected by the project.
“The statement on Nord Stream 2 means that more money will be invested in the Russian state budget to finance malicious actions in the United States and military aggression against Ukraine. This money will be used to support despotic regimes and suppress the hopes not only of the Ukrainian people but also of Belarusians, Georgians, and any other Russian neighbour who dares to seek their own destiny,” reads the letter.
It is also noted that if Nord Stream 2 is launched, Ukraine will lose an important factor in deterring the escalation of Russian aggression and the Kremlin will be free to launch a large-scale offensive against Ukraine.
The authors of the letter ask to cancel the unreasonable waiver of sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG and fully comply with all certification sanctions in accordance with U.S. law by mid-August, the deadline for the U.S. administration to report to Congress on mandatory sanctions.
“Nord Stream 2 will enrich and expand the opportunities of business circles in Europe, which serve as apologists for Putin’s authoritarian policy. It would also give Putin additional resources to ‘hire’ more Western politicians, such as Gerhard Schröder and François Fillon. This is not a blow to corruption, and this only encourages Putin to keep pushing Europe. This is not the way America is back. It will be very difficult to believe in the restoration of democratic power without reconsidering your decision,” the appeal reads.
The letter was signed by 47 people, including MPs Svitlana Zalishchuk, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Maria Ionova, Solomia Bobrovska, Director of the New Europe Center Alyona Getmanchuk, and Chair of the Board of the DEJURE Foundation Mykhailo Zhernakov.