Shortly before the meeting between Chancellor Merkel and Russian President Putin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for more support from Germany.
Berlin (DPA) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj has told Chancellor Angela Merkel an ineffective Russia policy and asked for help equipping Ukraine’s navy.
Before Merkel’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Selenskyj also made it clear in an interview with the Funke media group that he still hopes the German-Russian gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2 will fail. Merkel will meet Zelensky in Kiev on Sunday after a visit to Putin.
Putin is “irrational” and, when it comes to Ukraine, “sometimes very emotional,” the Ukrainian president said. He accused Russia of trying to “block the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov”. Kiev expects a technical partnership from Germany. “For example, Germany should help us equip the Ukrainian navy,” Zelenskyi said. Kiev had welcomed the demands of Greens co-leader Robert Habeck, (defensively) “to supply arms to Ukraine”. He added: “We are a bit sad that we are not getting the same support from the ruling parties in Germany.” Zelenskyi had previously told Ukrainian media that he wanted to build a “professional, powerful” fleet that “anyone could reject” by 2035.
The chancellor was “interested in a healthy — yes, even cordial — dialogue with Russia,” Selenskyj said. Merkel wants to kill two birds with one stone. But the flies are moving further and further apart – the distance between them is growing. That doesn’t lead to the goal.”
He described Nord Stream 2 as “a weapon” Moscow could use to reduce gas supplies and drive up prices. But “even if the pipeline is ready, there is still a big question mark whether it can be commissioned,” Selenskyj says. Commissioning after completion takes time. “International law must be followed, international energy standards must be respected,” he said. “We will use the time to defend our own interests.” The topic is high on the agenda during his meeting with US President Joe Biden on August 30 in Washington. “Our chance that the project will not be executed after all is 30 to 40 percent.”