DFormer Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her decisions on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. “I didn’t believe in change through trade, but in connection through trade, with the second largest nuclear power in the world,” Merkel told the editorial network Germany. But it wasn’t an easy decision. “The thesis at the time was: If Nord Stream 2 is in operation, Putin will no longer deliver gas through Ukraine or will even attack it.” The West made sure that gas was still routed through Ukraine and that they would continue to receive transit fees have.
Merkel pointed out that Russia then attacked Ukraine on February 24, when gas was not yet flowing through Nord Stream 2. “In this sense, gas was not a weapon,” Merkel said.
Merkel: No interest in LNG for a long time
Merkel also justified the procedure at the time with economic considerations. “At the time, the German economy opted for pipeline gas transport from Russia because it was economically cheaper than liquid gas from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and later also from the USA,” she explained.
They were willing to use taxpayers’ money to support the construction of two terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Germany. “But until the last day of my tenure, no company built an LNG terminal in Germany because there was no importer who would have booked long-term capacities in advance because of the high price.”
For Germany, Nord Stream 1 is the main supply pipeline with Russian gas. Nord Stream 2 was built to bring even more Russian gas to Germany. However, after the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the pipeline did not go into operation as planned.
Merkel also acknowledged that her influence over Russian President Vladimir Putin was waning near the end of her term. “It was clear that I wouldn’t be in office much longer, and so I simply have to state that various attempts over the past year have had no effect,” said Merkel. Putin was no longer willing to hold a summit meeting in the so-called Normandy format with representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, said the CDU politician. “On the other hand, I did not succeed in creating an additional European-Russian discussion format on a European security order alongside the Normandy format.”
When asked whether she would be available as a mediator for a solution in the conflict, Merkel told the RND: “This question does not arise at the moment.” leaving office. “My departure may have been a contribution, such as the elections in France, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the stalling of the implementation of the Minsk agreement,” she said.