Putin Says Nord Stream 2 Gas Link Nearing Completion

“There are 15 kilometers [of pipes left to be laid] across the seabed. You can say it’s nearing completion,” Putin told a news conference after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Putin assured Merkel, who paid a farewell visit to Moscow on Friday, that Russia would respect its obligations under the gas transit deal with Ukraine.

“I assured the federal chancellor that we will deliver on our obligations under the transit contract even after she leaves office… We are doing it now and we will do it in the future,” he said.

Russia is now waiting for the European Union to share its forecast for projected imports of Russian natural gas after 2024.

“We are ready to continue pumping gas through Ukraine [after the deal expires in] 2024, but we need to know how long and how much. We need our European partners to tell us how much they are willing to buy,” Putin said.

“We cannot sign a transit deal as long as we have not secured delivery contracts with consumers in Europe,” he explained.

Merkel said that she discussed with President Putin the Nord Stream 2 and agreements with the United States on the gas pipeline project.

“We discussed our developing bilateral economic relations and in this context, we certainly discussed the Nord Stream 2. I would like to emphasize that this is not a bilateral Russian-German project, this is a project of a European scale,” Merkel told reporters after the meeting.

The Leaders Discussed Situation in Eastern Ukraine

Putin said that he


with Merkel the situation in Donbas.

“The issues concerning the settlement of the situation in southeastern Ukraine have been touched upon among other international topics… We all together searched for opportunities to return peace to Donbas. Unfortunately, this has not been reached yet,” Putin said.

The Russian leader asked Merkel to influence Kiev to fulfil all its obligations on Donbas during her forthcoming visit to Ukraine.

“[We] ask once again Madame Federal Chancellor, including given her upcoming visit to Kiev, to influence the Ukrainian side in fulfilling its obligations assumed earlier,” the president said.

Putin also expressed his hope that Russia will continue dialogue with Germany on settling the Donbas conflict in the nearest future.