The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had expressed satisfaction over the near-completion of the controversial Nord Stream-2 pipeline during phone talks.
“The leaders are satisfied with the completion of the construction of Nord Stream-2,” the Kremlin said in a statement after the talks.
During the phone call, Putin praised Germany’s “commitment” to the project, which the Kremlin said is “purely commercial” and aims to strengthen Germany and the EU’s energy security.
Earlier on Wednesday the United States announced that it had reached an agreement with Germany on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would threaten Russia with sanctions and seek to expand the gas’s transit through Ukraine.
The nearly finished 10 billion euro ($12 billion) pipeline is set to double Russian gas supplies to Europe’s biggest economy, Germany.
But the project has been strongly opposed by the United States and several European countries, who argue it will increase energy dependence on the geopolitical influence of Russia and Moscow.
The pipeline bypasses Ukraine’s gas infrastructure, depriving the country of nearly a billion euros in transit fees annually and, Kiev fears, removing a critical check on a possible Russian invasion into the region.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Putin and Merkel had discussed a possible extension of the gas transit agreement between Moscow and Kiev.
“The Russian President and the German Chancellor touched on the possibility of extending an agreement between Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz on the transit of gas through Ukrainian territory beyond 2024,” the Kremlin said without giving any further details.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said Germany had agreed to extend a transit agreement through Ukraine by 10 years to 2024 to pressure Russia to work with the United States. is finally going to end.
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