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15 Sep, 2021 14:57

Ukraine must stop begging for money from West because countries with great history should have ‘dignity’, says Russia’s Lavrov

Ukraine must stop begging for money from West because countries with great history should have ‘dignity’, says Russia’s Lavrov

Politicians in Kiev won’t stop asking Western nations for money, and this continuous begging is unworthy of the Ukrainian people they are supposed to be representing. That’s according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Lavrov used the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as an example of Kiev constantly asking foreign countries for aid.

“Our Ukrainian friends … have made a habit out of begging the West for something,” the foreign minister said. For example, ‘Nord Stream. Stop it! If you cannot stop it, give us money as compensation ... and let us join NATO, the European Union, we were ready a long time ago.’ They keep begging and begging.”

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According to Lavrov, Kiev needs to show some dignity” and solve its own issues.

“The Ukrainian nation, with its rich history, deserves to be a creator, not a beggar with its hand outstretched all the time,” he concluded.

Lavrov’s comments come as Kiev continues to seek reassurances that the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would not bring an end to the billions in fees Ukraine receives for transit of Russian natural gas through the country.

Nord Stream 2, once operational, will connect Germany directly to Russia via the Baltic Sea, allowing Moscow to send gas without needing to pay tariffs for it to pass through other countries. Berlin aims to protect its energy security and make the process less reliant on third parties, thereby lowering the price.

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As things stand, Russia’s Gazprom pays large sums to Kiev in gas transit fees. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Nord Stream 2 will potentially cost the country $3 billion every year in lost revenue.

Zelensky wants Berlin to tell Moscow it must continue to send gas through Ukraine. Earlier this year, Ukraine, Germany, and the US signed a deal to that end, but it is not legally binding, and Zelensky’s right-hand man, Andriy Yermak, has revealed that Kiev is still waiting for written guarantees.

On September 10, Gazprom revealed that the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline had been fully completed. It is expected to be in full operation by the end of the year.

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