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Russian gas should restart after Ukraine war – DW – 23/10/2022

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A German politician on Sunday came under criticism for calling for a restart of Russian gas supplies as soon as the war in Ukraine is over.

Michael Kretschmer, the chancellor of the East German state of Saxony, has previously sparked controversy.

In July, he said the geopolitical fallout had placed a significant burden on Germany and called for a “freeze” of the conflict to give diplomacy a chance.

What did Kretschmer say?

Kretschmer gave an interview. Bild am Sonntag Newspaper calling for the resumption of the stopped Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline after Russian missiles stopped flying and guns fell silent in Ukraine.

Nord Stream 2 is one of two pipelines built to transport Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea. While Nord Stream 1 operated before the war, Nord Stream 2 was shelved by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, although it had only just been completed.

Last month, the EU said both pipelines suffered from sabotage, but Brussels fell short of pointing to Russia. The Swedish authorities refused Russia’s request to participate in their investigation.

Moscow had already significantly reduced gas supplies to Germany during the pipeline explosions.

“We need long-term contracts for LNG deliveries from the US, Qatar and other Arab countries,” Kretschmer told the newspaper, referring to the liquefied natural gas that helps replace Russian supplies.

“We must also finally develop our own natural gas in the North Sea. When the war is over, we must use gas from Russia again,” he added.

Russian attacks boost Ukraine’s electricity to over a million

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Kretschmer calls for diplomatic intervention

Kretschmer, a politician from the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, once again called for an end to the Ukraine war through the joint diplomatic effort of the EU, US, China, India and Japan.

“There is no reason for Ukraine to give up even one square meter of its territory,” said the Minister, adding that Russia should compensate for war damage and war criminals should be held accountable.

“You have to enter peace talks with this attitude. We should no longer solve these problems on the battlefield. Europe needs to put more pressure on peace talks.”

Kretschmer also expressed skepticism about the effects of EU sanctions on Russia, arguing that it hurts the German economy.

What was the reaction to Kretschmer’s comments?

The last time Kretschmer made similar comments calling for an end to the war, he was accused by Ukraine of falling into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The official visit of the German politician to Kiev was canceled by the country’s former ambassador to Berlin, Andrij Melnyk.

Early in the war, Kretschmer openly opposed the delivery of German heavy weapons to Ukraine.

His latest comments have been criticized by many German politicians on social media, including Jan Philipp Albrecht, a former Green Party member of the European Parliament and head of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

“Kretschmer’s recent statements raise the question of the Union’s relationship with the regime Putin on the one hand and a common Europe on the other.” in the federal government.”

Kretschmer was also the target of an assassination attempt by anti-vaccine people last year.

mm/ar (AFP, dpa)