Kyiv sees the soon-to-be-completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying Russian gas to Europe and bypassing Ukraine as “a dangerous geopolitical weapon”, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The Ukrainian president spoke at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Kyiv on Sunday. Merkel who has spearheaded the pipeline project, which is opposed by Russia’s neighbors Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic states.
The $12bn pipeline beneath the Baltic Sea is set to double Russian natural gas shipments to Germany, Europe’s largest economy. It avoids Ukraine, depriving Kyiv of essential gas transit fees.
“We only look at this project through the lens of security and see it as a dangerous geopolitical weapon of the Kremlin,” Zelenskyy added.
He went on to say that the pipeline’s main risks will be “borne by Ukraine,” but that it will also be hazardous “for all of Europe.”
According to him, the pipeline “will just play into the hands of the Russian Federation.”
“It will come down to whether the transit deal via Ukraine is renewed — the sooner the better,” she said, referring to Moscow’s agreement with Kyiv, which is set to expire in 2024.
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