July 13, 2021
The Kyiv Post reported, “President Volodymyr Zelenskyy concluded his two-day trip to Berlin on July 12 with an official dinner hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Zelenskyy had a lot on his plate. The Ukrainian president came to Berlin as a last-minute attempt to stop the construction of the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and to secure German arms shipment to Ukraine.
Both tasks never made it to the table, with Zelenskyy’s visit having a high status, yet little substance. Ukraine was promised 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and zero promises of political or economic support.
After the U.S. lifted sanctions imposed on Nord Stream 2, the $11 billion gas pipeline is expected to be commissioned in late August. As a result, Ukraine is expected to lose billions of dollars and the last obstacle to a full-scale Russian invasion will effectively evaporate.
‘Nord Stream 2 is a huge security threat that is masked as an economic project,’ said Zelenskyy during his joint press conference with Merkel.
‘We guarantee that Ukraine will maintain its status as a gas transit country,’ said Merkel without actually providing any guarantees.
Merkel is expected to meet with U.S. President Joseph Biden on July 15 in Washington to seal the completion of Nord Stream 2.
Meanwhile, the question of arms shipments to Ukraine never came up. The meeting between Zelenskyy and Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was canceled hours prior.
No official explanation was given, yet top German officials have already been outspoken on the issue – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in June that Ukraine won’t get arms from Germany.
Although Zelenskyy’s two-day trip to Germany was packed with meetings, none of them appeared to be particularly impactful.”