German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected criticism of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline at a meeting with the Visegrad group in the Slovak capital Bratislava on Thursday.

“Do we become dependent on Russia because of this second gas pipeline? I say no, if we diversify,” said Merkel.

“Russia was already a source of gas in the Cold War and will remain one, but it would not be one-sided dependency,” she added.

The natural gas pipeline, a third of which is already laid on the Baltic Sea seabed, will deliver Russian natural gas to Germany, bypassing several Eastern European states. The project has been criticised for putting European energy independence at risk. Merkel made the comments at a meeting with leaders of the so-called Visegrad States – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

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