Merkel sees no threat in new gas pipe to Russia

Merkel sees no threat in new gas pipe to Russia

The planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Germany and Russia poses no threat to Europe’s energy security, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday, publicly disagreeing with her Polish counterpart, Reuters reported.

Poland, Ukraine and Baltic states fear the pipeline to be laid under the Baltic Sea would increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and could cut off Ukraine - still fighting a conflict with Russian-backed separatists - from gas transit fees.

“We had different views on the Nord Stream issue,” Merkel told reporters at a joint press conference with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Berlin.

“We think this is an economic project. We are also for energy diversification. We also want Ukraine to continue to have transit gas traffic, but we believe Nord Stream poses no danger to diversification,” she added.

Morawiecki said he disagreed that Nord Stream 2 would diversify supply.

“This is gas from the same source, but via a different route. We indicate the risks related to cutting Ukraine from transit,” he said, adding however that Merkel’s comments on assuring Ukraine’s gas traffic fees were important.

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