Putin strikes blow against Russia’s isolation by Europe (Source euobserver.com) Russian leader Vladimir Putin has joined forces with Germany against the US over a new gas pipeline. His weekend trip, which included a visit to Austria, also struck a symbolic blow against EU diplomatic sanctions over his invasion of Ukraine. German chancellor Angela Merkel and Putin defended the Nord Stream 2 gas project at their meeting in Meseberg Castle, outside Berlin, on Saturday (18 August) in Putin’s first bilateral visit to Germany since the invasion in 2014. “In connection with Ukraine, we will also talk about gas transit. In my view, even if Nord Stream 2 exists, Ukraine has a role to play in gas transit to Europe,” Merkel said ahead of their three-and-a-half hour discussions.
The project will “perfect the European gas transport system and minimise transit risks. It will ensure supply for growing consumption in Europe”, Putin said.
“Nord Stream 2 is an exclusively economic project. It does not close any possibilities for transit of Russian gas through Ukraine,” he added.