This Monday, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) is traveling to Kiev and Moscow for inaugural visits amid the crisis between Russia and Ukraine. Nord Stream 2 will also be an important topic.
High revenue from transit
The state-owned company Naftogaz operates the 38,000-kilometer-long gas network through Ukraine, which has so far also transported Russian gas to Central Europe. Until the end of 2024, the financially strapped ex-Soviet republic will earn the equivalent of over a billion euros a year from transit.
Moscow’s goal is to eliminate this transit, Vitrenko said. Commitments to extend existing transit contracts did not change that. In the event of a Russian invasion, there would be no more lines through Ukraine, he said. “The first bombs will be aimed at the pipelines.”
Fear of dependence on Russia
Nord Stream 2 is completed but not yet operational. Many of Germany’s allies fear that this will increase dependence on Russian gas.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) recently emphasized that it was a commercial, not a political project. Vitrenko said: “The only economic logic is that Putin can punish Ukraine for its pro-European elections.” Germany, where the Nord Stream pipeline ends, also benefits from this. “For me, from a moral point of view, it’s hard to accept.” (dpa/amo)