The German-American agreement on the completion of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline continues to cause excitement.

Criticism comes mainly from Poland and Ukraine - not just from the government.

The Ukrainian state gas company Naftogaz has also spoken out.

If Russia threatens Ukraine and its gas network in the future, Europe need only express concern - its gas supply is also so secure, said Naftogas CEO Jurij Vitrenko.

Andreas Mihm

Business correspondent for Austria, East-Central and Southeastern Europe and Turkey based in Vienna.

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"Nord Stream 2 is a threat to the security of Ukraine and the entire region," said the former executive energy minister, who the government installed in May against the opposition of the board of directors.

That is "not a question of compensation, this is a question of regional security".

With this, Vitrenko addressed the financial component that has hitherto been under-highlighted in the public debate, which also includes the "Joint Declaration by the USA and Germany in support of Ukraine, European energy security and our climate goals".

It promises more than one billion dollars for the restructuring of the energy industry in Ukraine.

The text basically contains three promises: The Russian gas transit through Ukraine is to continue beyond 2024 to 2034.

Germany pledged itself "to use all available means of influence to enable an extension of the gas transit agreement between Ukraine and Russia for up to ten years, and to appoint a special envoy".

Negotiations should start on September 1st at the latest.

The German government tried to build bridges in earlier gas transit negotiations between Moscow and Kiev.

“Energy as a weapon” should not be tolerated

In 2019, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) appointed Georg Graf Waldersee, the chairman of the supervisory board of the consulting company Ernst & Young, as her representative for the ultimately successful talks. Russia's Gazprom and Naftogaz have agreed on the annual passage of 40 billion cubic meters of gas until 2024. For this, Ukraine receives 2 billion dollars a year, at least.

Germany and America also promise not to tolerate any Russian aggression, not even the use of “energy as a weapon”. Otherwise, “Germany will act at the national level and press for effective measures, including sanctions, in the European Union to limit Russian capacities for exports to Europe in the energy sector, including gas, or for effective measures in other economically relevant areas ".

Germany will adhere to the EU's energy policy principles on diversification and security of supply. Express reference is made to the pending "Assessment of risks due to the certification of the project executing agency for the security of the EU's energy supply". That is aimed at Gazprom. Merkel said: "We are not without any means of doing something." Moscow's admission that energy is not used as a weapon, she commented: "Let's take the Russian side at their word."