Wednesday, December 8

Ukraine criticizes Merkel hours before German chancellor visits Moscow


Berlin

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Merkel he is rushing his last weeks of the legislature trying to keep foreign affairs as tight as possible. After his visit to Washington, he flies to Moscow today for what will be his last meeting with Vladimir Putin in the Russian capital. Before the plane takes off from Berlin, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Selenskyj, visibly upset, has reproached him for the tone and content of this official trip.

The German Chancellor is “interested in a healthy, yes, even cordial, dialogue with Russia,” she said wryly in an interview with the Funke media group. “Merkel wants to kill two birds with one stone, but the birds keep moving farther apart, the distance between them increases. It will not achieve its objective. In your opinion, Germany cannot serve the interests of the West and its own interests at the same time in bilateral relations with Russia and criticizes the fact that the German position is increasingly lukewarm in the Navalny case.

Merkel has admitted that there are still several points to be resolved around the gas pipeline, which is suspicious of both Ukraine and some partners of the European Union, such as Poland and the Baltic countries, considering that it increases Germany’s energy dependence on Russia. The Chancellor has always defended the need to maintain dialogue with Moscow, even in moments of greatest bilateral or multilateral tension, in view of Russia’s strategic role in major international conflicts, be it Syria or Afghanistan. And it maintains that position despite rising military tension.

Putin is “irrational”

In view of the Russian troop movements near the border with Ukraine, NATO is warning Moscow against further escalation of the situation and Selenskyj stresses that Putin is “irrational”, so dialogue with him is pointless. When it comes to Ukraine, “it is sometimes even very emotional.” Selenskyj accuses Russia of trying to “blockade the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov” and openly confesses that he expects the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany to fail. Nord Stream 2 is “a weapon” that Moscow can use to reduce gas supplies and drive up prices at any time. “Even when the pipeline is finished, there is still a big question mark as to whether it can go into operation,” he says.

Commissioning after completion will take time because “international law must be followed, international energy standards must be observed, and we will use the time to defend our own interests.” The Ukrainian president trusts the meeting that he will hold on August 30 with Joe Biden In the US: “Our chances of the project not being implemented after all are 30% to 40%.”

“Germany should help us equip the Ukrainian Navy,” he suggests, instead of tightening ties with Putin: “We are a bit sad that we are not receiving the same support from the ruling parties in Germany.” Selenskyj has declared in his country that he wants to build a “professional and powerful” fleet by 2035, so strong as to be able to “repel all enemies.” Merkel will meet Selensky in Kiev on Sunday, after visiting Putin, and she will surely listen to requests for support for this project.

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