Today, August 22, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel held closed-door negotiations. After that, they went out to the press for a short briefing.
Zelenskyy said Donbas was the priority subject of the talks. The basis of the peace plan should be "clusters" and the "Paris agenda". He mentioned that an exchange of prisoners was needed.
As for Nord Stream 2, he reiterated that this is an energy weapon that will be used to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and Europe.
He said that Ukraine will join the "European green course" (as stated in the memorandum of Biden and Merkel on SP 2).
According to Zelenskyy, an agreement on the extension of transit after 2024 was discussed with Merkel. But so far "common things" have been voiced. The President hopes to know more after talks with the US and German Ministers of Energy that will be held during the Crimean Platform.
Merkel said that Berlin is interested in the earliest possible extension of the agreement on gas transit through the territory of Ukraine amid the completion of the Nord Stream 2 construction.
Merkel mentioned the Normandy format. "Here we are not moving forward, unfortunately," she stated. The Chancellor believes that a summit is needed to develop an agenda.
She called Russia a participant in the conflict in Donbas, so "it is right that Ukraine refuses to negotiate with representatives of the separatists."
Ukraine should be prepared to reduce gas transit if its consumption in Europe decreases, Merkel warned. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about this earlier.
Therefore, Kyiv needs to deal with the production of hydrogen and "green" energy, the Chancellor said.
Zelenskyy said that "green" energy and hydrogen are long-term work, and Nord Stream 2 will start working now.
When asked by journalists about compensation to Ukraine after the SP 2 launch, Merkel replied that the gas pipeline has not yet been launched, they will launch it—then we'll talk.
Additionally. Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and President of RF Vladimir Putin held talks on August 20. Their meeting lasted for about three hours. The topics of Ukraine and Afghanistan were the main ones at the meeting.