The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline should not be a substitute for gas transit through Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
"Our idea is and remains that Ukraine remains a transit country for natural gas," she said at a press conference after talks with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House.
Merkel warned that Germany "will be actively acting should Russia not respect this right of Ukraine that it has as a transit country."
According to her, "Nord Stream 2 is an additional project and certainly not a project to replace any kind of transit through Ukraine."
She also stated after her talks with Biden that "we've come to different assessments as to what this project entails."
Merkel, when answering a clarifying question from a journalist, explained that in case of problems with gas transit through Ukraine, Germany can act not only independently, but also through the EU. She recalled that it was through the EU that sanctions were introduced against Russia related to the Ukrainian conflict.
"I hope we will never have to take those decisions [regarding the situation with Nord Stream 2]," she added.
Biden, in turn, commenting on the topic of Nord Stream 2, recalled that the United States and Germany are friends. "Good friends can disagree," the U.S. president said.
He recalled that by the time when he became President, the project was 90 percent completed." And imposing sanctions did not seem to make any sense. It made more sense to work with Germany," Biden said.
He stressed that he considers it important to ensure the energy security of Europe. Talking about how it will be affected by Nord Stream 2, Biden replied: "We'll see."