Ukraine Urges Germany to Impose ‘Preventative Punitive Measures’ on Russia, Scrap Nord Stream 2
11:03 GMT 10.01.2022 (Updated: 09:22 GMT 18.11.2022)
© Photo : Nord Stream 2/SWP Studie S21 (2016); ENTSO-G, Capacity Map (2017)Map of the European natural gas pipeline network. Source - DIW 2018, based on Kai-Olaf Lang and Kirsten Westphal, “Nord Stream 2
© Photo : Nord Stream 2/SWP Studie S21 (2016); ENTSO-G, Capacity Map (2017)
Nord Stream 2 – the $10.5 billion, 1,230 km gas pipeline running from Russia to northeastern Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, was completed and made ready for operation in the fall. However, despite the gas supply crunch facing Berlin and the rest of Europe, German regulators have held up its certification until at least the spring.
Berlin should abandon the Nord Stream 2 project as one of the “tough” measures that should be taken by the collective West against Russia to prevent the aggravation of the crisis in Ukraine, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk has said.
“In order to prevent a new Russian invasion, our partners in Europe and the US would have to take very tough preventative punitive measures against Moscow before Putin extends his military intervention, and not afterwards, when it is too late,” Melnyk said, speaking to reporters from Germany’s Funke media group on Monday.
“The final abandonment of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline should be part of this package,” the diplomat stressed.
Melnyk did not clarify what Germany – which depends on natural gas for over a quarter of its total energy consumption, and which has faced growing demand for the clean fossil fuel after reducing dependence on coal and nuclear energy, would stand to gain from scrapping Nord Stream 2, particularly amid the cold winter facing Europe.
In mid-December, the German association of underground gas storage operators said that the country’s reserves had fallen below 60 percent, constituting a “historically low level” compared to previous years, and warned that storage would fall further to potentially dangerous levels by February.
16 December 2021, 12:30 GMT
Send Arms Now
In his interview with German media, Melnyk also urged Berlin to drop its “absolutely reprehensible” veto on the delivery of new weapons to Kiev.
“We have a full right to self defence,” the ambassador said. “Only an immediate increase in the supply of defensive weapons to Ukraine to increase its defence capability would constitute a real ‘game changer’,” he suggested.
Melnyk went on to try to lay a guilt trip on Germany for its historic responsibility for World War II, suggesting that Berlin has the same kind of obligation to help Ukraine today as it has had to assist Israel – which has received billions of dollars in reparations assistance over the decades. Support from Berlin is Germany’s historical duty for its “eternal historical responsibility to Ukraine for Nazi tyranny,” the diplomat claimed.
“Germany has the same historical responsibility for Ukraine as it does for Israel. Therefore, massive military support from Germany is expected in Kiev to raise the price of Putin’s impending attack, and to prevent it,” Melnyk said.
29 April 2021, 20:38 GMT
Melnyk is not averse to making controversial statements. Last year, the diplomat warned that Ukraine may have to dust off plans to build nuclear weapons to fight of “Russian aggression” if it wasn’t allowed to join NATO.
15 April 2021, 16:48 GMT
Recent months have seen a dramatic escalation in tensions between Russia and the West over the crisis in Ukraine. Kiev and its allies have claimed that Moscow has concentrated “up to 100,000 troops” on the border in possible preparations to “invade.” The Kremlin has dismissed these claims, and issues its own concerns, as a guarantor of the Minsk agreements on Ukrainian peace, that Kiev may be preparing a military operation to try to resolve the frozen civil conflict in the country’s east by force.