The main candidates for German chancellor believe that Ukraine’s interests must be taken into account when it comes to the Nord Stream 2 project.
According to DW, Armin Laschet of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) does not rule out the suspension of the Nord Stream 2 project if it is used “against Ukraine.”
“The geostrategic impact has been discussed – it should not harm Ukraine; there are European commitments here. If President Putin does not abide by this rule and uses it against Ukraine, it can also be stopped at any time, even when the pipeline is ready, because then the basis of the agreement will disappear. It’s that simple,” the politician said.
Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats (SPD) also agreed that Ukraine’s interests should be taken into account. According to him, Germany participated in negotiations on this issue, and, in the future, the transit of gas through the Ukrainian territory should be guaranteed.
“Negotiations need to be held on this issue,” Scholz said, adding that “a negative impact on gas transit and the security of Ukraine will have implications for possible deliveries by a ready-made gas pipeline.”
Both politicians recognised Nord Stream 2 as an economic project and supported the completion of the gas pipeline.
At the same time, Annalena Baerbock of the Greens, who along with her political force is a consistent critic of the project, urged that the completion of the construction should not be allowed.
“When the pipeline is ready and gas transportation begins, Putin’s goal is to use this gas in order to shut down the Ukrainian pipeline and to destabilise Ukraine, since there will be no more money,” the politician said.
She reminded that according to the EU gas directive, the pipeline has to obtain another permit from the regulator – its operator should not be the owner of the pipeline.
“This approval should not be issued. This means that we can stop it [the pipeline] at this stage,” Baerbock said. She also added that the pipeline “has no future because it is aimed against Europe.”
As a reminder, the day before, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the candidates for German chancellor with a number of questions about their future policy towards Ukraine, in particular, he asked whether the candidates support Russia’s Nord Stream 2 project.
As previously reported by some media outlets, the United States and Germany plan to agree on commitments to strengthen Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and on compensation for transit fees that may be lost due to the launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The two states want to reach an agreement aimed at weakening the Kremlin’s geopolitical benefits after the construction of the pipeline is completed by August, that is, before German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned visit to Washington.