20:09 GMT17 June 2021
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    Europe is not interested in cutting off relations with Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated on 16 February on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

    German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a statement that the country is not interested in the anti-Russian sanctions, as they were adopted for political reasons, stressing that it is necessary to work to change them.

    "I personally think that we have no interest in sanctions", Altmaier said, adding that "we accepted these sanctions, because there were political grounds for this, repeatedly extended them. "the EU was united, but we have to work on changing political relations and arrive at other solutions".

    The minister went on to say that Nord Stream 2 will contribute to the stabilisation of gas supplies to Europe amid reduced supplies from Norway and the UK.

    Nord Stream 2 "will contribute to the stabilisation of the gas supply to Europe amid decreasing gas imports from Norway and the United Kingdom and growing gas demand in Germany and in Western Europe due to the abandoning of coal and nuclear power", the minister stressed.

    READ MORE: German Economy Ministry Denies Making Deal With US on Nord Stream 2

    He noted that in order for the project to function, "it is necessary to bring reliability, predictability and geopolitical responsibility to a common denominator." Altmayer has also recalled that the project "has already received permission from 4-5 countries".

    At the same time, Germany is ready to accept the LNG from the United States, the minister noted, saying "this will be a contribution to competition [on the market]".

    The statement comes a day after a source in Brussels told Sputnik that the EU had prolonged individual sanctions against Russia over Ukraine for six months and added eight more names to the sanctions list over the Kerch incident involving Ukrainian ships in November.

    Earlier in February, France and Germany reportedly reached a compromise deal concerning EU-wide management related to Nord Stream 2, with the deal specifying that Berlin itself would be able to define the rules under which the project will work.

    anti-Russian sanctions, LNG, Nord Stream 2, Peter Altmaier, Russia, Germany
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