Merkel defends the start of construction of Nord Stream 2

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has defended the controversial decision to build the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline despite Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. “I didn’t believe in change through trade, but in connection through trade, with the second largest nuclear power in the world,” Merkel told the editorial network Germany. Against this background, she considered the pipeline to be justifiable after the negotiations on the Minsk peace agreement for eastern Ukraine.

But it was not an easy decision, said Merkel. “The thesis at the time was: If Nord Stream 2 is in operation, Putin will no longer supply gas through Ukraine or will even attack it.” The West ensured that gas was still supplied through Ukraine and that it continued to receive transit fees .

Merkel referred to the already high energy prices at that time due to the promotion of renewable energies, the nuclear phase-out and the beginning of the phase-out of coal.

“At the time, the German economy opted for pipeline gas transport from Russia because it was economically cheaper than liquid gas from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and later also from the USA.”

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Politically, it was a question of whether, instead of Russian gas, the considerably more expensive and ecologically controversial liquefied gas would be bought “against the wishes of the economy, against Germany’s industrial strength”.

“We were willing to support the construction of two LNG terminals in Germany with tax money,” Merkel said. “But until the last day of my tenure, no company built an LNG terminal in Germany because there was no importer who would have booked long-term capacities in advance because of the high price.” (AFP)

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