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Chancellor Merkel to discuss monetary assistance with Ukrainian PM Shmyhal


Chancellor Merkel to discuss monetary assistance with Ukrainian PM Shmyhal

Ukraine And Germany To Open German-Ukrainian Chamber Of Industry ...
Credit: Ukrainian News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was supposed meet with new Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal today via video chat but rescheduled at the last minute due to schedule changes.

German-Ukrainian relations have been tense since the inception of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany in 2019. Berlin has been eager to increase access to Russian energy resources since its 2014 commitment to phase out all nuclear power by 2022. However, Nord Stream 2 will circumvent Ukraine, greatly reducing the $3 billion in transit fees that Kyiv collects annually.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and oil prices hit global lows, Ukraine’s economy is expected to shrink between 5-10%. Although Germany has contributed $1.2 billion in aid to Ukraine since 2014, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has criticised Germany for being soft on Russian sanctions amidst the ongoing Ukrainian-Russian conflict in Donbass and Luhansk, which alone have already shrunk the Ukrainian economy by 15%.

When they eventually meet, Shmyhal will likely request more German help today in fulfilling President Zelenskiy’s promise to settle the conflict in eastern Ukraine, freeing resources to focus on making the economy more energy independent. Without such a conflict to manage, in the long-run, Ukraine would be more able to focus on achieving greater independence from Russian influence.

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