BERLIN, July 22. /TASS/. The Nord Stream 2 deal with the United States is not a "gift" to Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference in Berlin on Thursday.
When questioned whether the agreement suggests that Russia is more important to Berlin than Ukraine or Poland, she replied "No," adding that "There is no talk about this, but it is important to find ways for a compromise on the project, which is taken differently in different countries".
"And I think that the joint statement [of the US and Germany], if the main tasks are correctly defined, will be good for Ukraine as well," the Chancellor stressed. She recalled that she had always supported Ukraine and advocated the extension of the agreement on the transit of Russian gas.
On Wednesday, the Welt newspaper issued an assertion that Angela Merkel made a "gift to Vladimir Putin" at the end of her reign, having reached a compromise with the United States on the implementation of Nord Stream 2.
On July 21, the United States and Germany reached an agreement on the Nord Stream 2 project. In particular, Washington admitted that the sanctions would not stop its implementation, while Berlin pledged to seek an extension of the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden said that Nord Stream 2 was 99% complete and it was impossible to stop its construction.
"Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine, Germany will take action at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions, to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector," the US State Department said in a statement after the agreement was reached.
The Russian side has repeatedly stated that it has never used energy resources as an instrument of pressure.