Germany threatens 'to take measures' against Russian pipeline in case of escalation in Ukraine
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says Nord Stream II is 'economic project with political, geostrategic aspects'
If there is a further escalation from Russia in Ukraine, Berlin together with its partners "will take joint suitable measures" against the Nord Stream II gas pipeline, Germany's foreign minister warned on Monday.
Speaking at a news conference in the capital Kyiv after meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, Annalena Baerbock said Germany sees the Nord Stream II as an economic project but that it also has "political, geostrategic aspects."
She said that “European law applies to energy projects in Germany, and this also applies to the Nord Stream 2. At the moment, European law is not fully implemented in the context of this project, so the certification process has been suspended. At the same time, we see geostrategic connections, otherwise, we would not have talked about it so much.”
She added: "If there is a further escalation on the part of Russia, then we, together with our partners, will take appropriate joint measures.”
For his part, Kuleba said he discussed arms deliveries with Baerbock, adding that Ukraine would prefer a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis in the east of the country, where Western countries have decried violence by Russian-backed separatists amid a Russian buildup of thousands of troops across the border.
He also said that he discussed reviving the work of the Normandy Four format, which includes Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine.
The US recently warned its European allies over a possible Russian military attack, claiming that Moscow is planning to carry out a false flag operation – sabotaging its own forces, disguised as a Ukrainian attack – to justify an invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has said that the Ukrainian military, backed by a NATO fleet in the Black Sea, carries out military operations close to its borders and uses weapons that could easily reach Russian territory.
In addition, Moscow claims the US private military companies are providing military assistance to the Ukrainian army, which is the reason for the country's "extreme concern."