Germany vows readiness for Nord Stream 2 consultations – Ukrainian President’s Office.

The Commissioner for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia with Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Matthias Lüttenberg, stated his country’s readiness to hold consultations on Nord Stream 2, initiated by Ukraine.

The comment came during a meeting with Deputy Head of the President’s Office, Ihor Zhovkva, Ukrinform reports with reference to the presidential press service.

“Deputy Head of the Office of the President conveyed to Matthias Lüttenberg Ukraine's position on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 project, emphasizing the acute security threats associated with it that both the country and entire Europe are facing. For his part, the German envoy told of Germany’s readiness to hold consultations on Nord Stream 2, initiated by our state," the President’s Office reported.

Read also: Nord Stream 2, U.S. Congress, and political risks for Biden

In addition, Zhovkva briefed his interlocutor on the security situation in Donbas, as well as the threats associated with Russia maintaining a significant military presence along Ukraine borders.

For his part, Lüttenberg stressed the invariability of Germany's position on preserving Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. According to the President’s Office, he welcomed Ukraine's efforts to restore peace in Donbas.

"An important achievement of the peace process was the significant reduction in the intensity of shellings, as well as the number of military and civilians casualties throughout the year following the approval by the Trilateral Contact Group of additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire," the statement said.

The interlocutors also noted the high level of mutual understanding between the Ukrainian and German parties on key approaches to a peaceful settlement in Donbas. It is noted that Zhovkva and Lüttenberg reaffirmed the need to resolve the situation through diplomatic means.

Read also: European Parliament releases tough statement on US-Germany agreement on Nord Stream 2

At the same time, touching upon the issue of illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, the German official assured that "At the inaugural summit of the Crimean Platform, Germany will be represented at a high political level."

The issues of Ukraine's European integration were also discussed, including the possibility of signing a bilateral declaration on the country’s European prospects.

Lüttenberg noted the importance of implementing the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and agreed on the need to continue the dialogue between the parties on the implementation of the country's European integration course.

At the same time, Zhovkva said any initiatives to resume the EU-Russia dialogue at the highest level until all Ukrainian territories are fully liberated would be unacceptable.

The interlocutors also agreed on the importance of deepening cooperation in the context of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic path.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on July 21, the U.S. and German governments issued a joint declaration outlining their position on the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The document has sparked massive criticism, including from Ukraine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had sent formal requests for consultations with Germany and the EU, in line with the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

Nord Stream 2: Background

Nord Stream 2 is a Russian gas pipeline under construction, bypassing Ukraine. It is being laid along the Baltic Sea seabed to connect Russia and Germany. The project cost is estimated at EUR 9.5 billion. The sole shareholder is Russia’s energy giant OJSC Gazprom. In December 2019, construction was suspended due to sanctions imposed by the U.S. government. At the time, the pipeline was 96% complete.

The new U.S. administration, led by President Joe Biden, now says it is impossible to stop the construction of the pipe at this stage.

At the same time, criticizing the U.S.-German agreement, Co-Chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus Marcy Kaptur said "Congress must reject any deals that fail to protect transatlantic security and Ukraine's sovereignty," as reported by Ukrinform.

In turn, the European Commission reminded that in case of completion of the gas pipeline, it will be subject to the provisions of the so-called EU Gas Directive, which does not allow the monopoly use of such infrastructure.

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