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Order of Liberty and Nord Stream 2. Why Merkel is coming to Ukraine

Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel will visit Ukraine on August 22 for the last time before leaving this post. In our country, in particular, President Volodymyr Zelensky will award her the Order of Liberty; she will also meet with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and others, BBC News Ukraine reports.

The outlet notes that Merkel's visit will be a so-called farewell tour, because she leaves office in the fall of 2021 after 16 years in power, so the Ukrainian authorities do not expect serious agreements from her arrival.

Merkel will be awarded the Order of Liberty—the highest Ukrainian award for foreigners, will meet with Shmyhal, but will not attend the Crimean Platform summit that will be held in Kyiv on August 23. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas will represent Germany.

According to Serhiy Gerasymchuk, Deputy Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Council Ukrainian Prism, Merkel's visit will be a combination of ceremonies and a discussion of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline (in several contexts: Ukraine's relations with Russia, Ukraine's relations with Germany, and Ukraine's relations with the United States; the Chancellor will tell the Ukrainian authorities her vision of the agreements in Washington) and other practical issues. Gerasymchuk also added that Merkel will come to Kyiv to "reassure Zelenskyy" regarding agreements with Russia on the reasonable use of the pipeline.

Quote"This is a ceremonial visit, since Merkel put a lot of effort into the Ukrainian direction of her chancellorship and could not leave office without such a final visit," the politician said.

The outlet also admits that Merkel will speak with the Ukrainian authorities about the prospects for a new Cabinet of Ministers in Germany after the elections.

Quote"It is already being said that Germany is interested in contributing to the development of hydrogen energy in Ukraine. And this can be the main compensator for the implementation of the Nord Stream agreement, Gerasymchuk explained, adding that Merkel can only outline how she sees her inheritance and what instructions she will pass on to her successors in Ukraine, so there are no full-fledged agreements so far.

Context. Earlier, the presidential press secretary Serhiy Nikiforov said that the main topics for discussion during Merkel's visit will be security, bilateral relations and other pressing issues.

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