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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Germany on Saturday, August 18, and will discuss, among other things, the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline and other energy issues, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday.
The German chancellor will host the Russian president in her residence north of Berlin next Saturday for a meeting, at which the two leaders will discuss ongoing foreign policy issues, says the statement from the German government.
According to Seibert, the natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 will be on the agenda of talks, as well as the gas transit via Ukraine, the situation in eastern Ukraine, and the conflict in Syria, the Associated Press reports.
The Gazprom-led highly controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which is planned to twin the existing Nord Stream natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, is opposed by European Union (EU) institutions and some EU members, not to mention U.S. lawmakers, as it would allow Russia to further boost its natural gas supplies to Europe.
In the middle of July, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced legislation “to give North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members an escape from Russia’s political coercion and manipulation.”
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The bill for the Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe Act, or the “ESCAPE Act,” authorizes mandatory U.S. sanctions on the development of Russian energy pipeline projects, such as Nord Stream 2.
The Merkel-Putin talks come just a week after the U.S. Congress enacted a set of mandatory sanctions against Russia, after the State Department announced it had determined that Russia had used chemical or biological weapons in the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter that inflamed Russian-EU relations this spring. A new round of sanctions that could come into force in three months could put an end to Russian crude oil and oil product exports to the United States.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.
Mrs Merkel must have been pleased by the conciliatory announcement by President Putin immediately after his meeting with President Trump last month in Helsinki that Russia will continue to transport some of its gas supplies to the EU through the Ukraine provided the Russian gas giant, Gazprom, manages to reach a settlement with the Ukraine on legal matters. The German Chancellor has been lobbying Putin for quite a while to keep using the Ukraine route and not undermine the Ukraine economy by stopping Russian gas supplies through that route.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London