Angela Merkel has disappeared from Europe’s eyes in Putin’s blackmail, German press has revealed

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was designed to double the flow of Russian gas directly to Germany, but was highly controversial because of the risk it posed to Ukraine. The cited source noted that critics fear that Russia would have siphoned off Ukraine’s economy from the transit fees it collects if it had supplied gas directly to Europe.

As these concerns were voiced and the pipeline awaited approval of other regulations, Russia began cutting gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which also carried gas from Russia to Germany.

In her final months as German chancellor in 2021, Merkel told Handelsblatt that there is no reason to believe Russia is restricting gas supplies.

However, according to confidential documents seen by the newspaper, the economy ministry warned that Russia was filling gas storage facilities “very slowly” and that dependence on the Kremlin for gas could have “dramatic consequences”.

New documents published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper show that the two Merkel governments have pushed hard for Nord Stream 2 to go live, arguing that its deal with majority-owned energy company Gazprom is the reason. A “Private Sector Project”.

It came despite repeated criticism of the plan by the United States and European allies, who said the pipeline would make Europe more dependent on Russian gas. Other European governments have said the link is crucial to securing energy supplies amid rising gas prices in 2021.

Germany told the Kremlin that Russia would continue to use onshore pipelines through Ukraine as a condition of the deal, set to transport Russian gas 761 miles across the Baltic Sea.

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But domestic economy ministry documents after a meeting with Gerhard Schroder, the former German chancellor turned Gazprom lobbyist, warned that the state-owned fossil fuel company “cannot be forced”.

Nord Stream 2 was officially canceled after Russia invaded Ukraine. The two pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and 2, were destroyed by unknown assailants in September of the same year.

Responding to media reports, Greens deputy chancellor Robert Habeck described the previous government’s decision as a “historic mistake”. “We must never depend on Putin’s gas.” Green Party MP Felix Panaszak went further, calling for a public inquiry and describing Nord Stream 2 as “the biggest economic, energy and foreign policy failure since the founding of the Federal Republic”.


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