Merkel defends Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction

Merkel defends Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday defended her country’s ongoing cooperation with Russia on the building of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

In an online appearance before the Council of Europe, Merkel noted that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline isn’t yet completed but Russian gas already flows freely into Europe along other routes, including the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany.

"I know that there is controversy about Nord Stream 2 and I know the opinion of many member states," she said. "But I would like to point out that the gas delivered through Nord Stream 2, which isn’t yet flowing, is no worse than the gas from Nord Stream 1, that which flows through Ukraine, and that which comes across Turkey from Russia."

Merkel said  the idea of terminating the Nord Stream 2 project raises broader questions. "I have the impression that with Nord Stream 2 we may be waging a conflict that is much wider, and touches upon the question of the extent to which we want to trade with Russia, especially in the energy sector," The Canadian Press cited her as saying.

"We have many conflicts with Russia that unfortunately make our relationship difficult," Merkel said. "But despite that I’m always someone who says we must talk with one another."

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