03:33 GMT26 November 2020
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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be a major topic at the upcoming Munich Security Conference, its chairman and veteran German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger said on Monday during a press conference in Berlin, in which he also confirmed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be in attendance.

    “Of course, Nord Stream 2 will play a role not only on the stage, during the main and auxiliary programs, but also behind the scenes,” Ischinger stated.

    The diplomat also confirmed that Merkel would not be in attendance after she participated in last year’s gathering.

    “Since 2008, the chancellor has participated in the conference every two years. She was here in 2019, and based upon the discussions I have had with her, she will participate again in 2021,” Ischinger noted.

    He added that the German state would be represented at this year’s conference by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schauble, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, among others.

    The Munich Security Conference is set to get underway on Friday. The conference will have among its participants more than 35 heads of state and over 100 foreign and defence ministers.

    The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will deliver Russian gas to Europe, has been threatened with sanctions by the United States. President Donald Trump's 2020 defence budget included sanctions against the pipeline, which prompted criticism from German and Russian officials.

    sanctions, US, Germany, Russia, Nord Stream 2, Munich Security Conference
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