For the first time, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier this Monday (04/04) admitted his “mistake” in justifying the need to implement the German-Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, when he was foreign minister, during the government of former federal chancellor Angela Merkel.
Steinmeier is a longtime spokesman for reconciliation between the West and Russia. However, the German president said that the Russian occupation of Ukraine meant that he and others needed to honestly identify where they had gone wrong.
The sign marks the construction site of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline – Photo: Hannibal Hanske / Reuters
“My support for Nord Stream 2 was clearly a mistake,” he said. “We were joining a bridge that Russia no longer trusts and has been warned by other partners.”
Steinmeier was a leading member of a faction of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) led by former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, arguing that close economic ties with Russia were a way to anchor the West into a global system of orientation. .
Critics say the now-canceled Nord Stream 2 has weakened Ukraine by excluding it from energy transport, which was the focus of that strategy.
“We failed to build a typical European house,” Steinmeier said. I did not believe that Vladimir Putin would accept the total economic, political and moral devastation of his country because of his imperialist madness, he added. “Like everyone else in this, I was misunderstood.”
From 1999 to 2005, Steinmeier was head of the Chancellor’s government in the government of Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder, a position considered the right – hand man of the federal chancellor. He served as foreign minister under the conservative Merkel from 2005 to 2009 and before becoming president from 2013 to 2017.
The map shows where Nord Stream 2 passes – Photo: g1
During Steinmeier’s presidency, Schroeder and his political ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, signed an agreement to build the first gas pipeline, Nord Stream 1, which became operational in 2011.
The deal comes months before Merkel came to power in 2005. Later, Schroeder became chairman of the Nord Stream Board. Despite the current pressure to sever ties with Putin, he still holds that position.
In 2011, after the commissioning of the first gas pipeline, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 agreed to increase the direct transport of Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea.
This second bill is still in force, despite Russia’s occupation of Crimea’s Ukraine in 2014. At the time, the decision was made by Merkel and her then-partners, the Steinmeier Social Democrats.
Nord Stream 2 Suspension
After weeks of hesitation and pressure from allies, the current federal chancellor, Social Democrat Olaf Scholes, suspended the implementation of Nord Stream 2’s license shortly after Russia’s recognized the independence of two self – proclaimed People’s Republics in Eastern Europe.
However, Germany has categorically ruled out the possibility of embarking on oil, gas and coal imports from Russia because of its strong reliance on Moscow.
Ukraine has criticized Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Selensky, for “visiting Bucha” to see the Russian military’s atrocities in the city. The Ukrainian leader said in a video message that the Russian military’s atrocities on the outskirts of Kiev were the result of a policy adopted by Russia in recent years.
The Polish government called on Berlin to tighten sanctions against Russia and suspend imports of Russian gas, oil and coal.
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