In order to complete the Nord Stream II project without being affected by the further U.S. sactions, Angela Merkel and the German authorities offer the White House more support for Ukraine. Handelsblatt reported that, with the reference to a source in the German government.
"The economic fate of Ukraine is closely tied with the fate of the Nord Stream II, the controversial Russian gas pipeline in the Batic Sea", an interlocutor told the German outlet.
During the economic forum in Berlin on March 19, Merkel is supposed to announce that the German companies in Ukraine will be working more actively. Ukrainian delegation, including Prime Minister Denys Shmygal will be also present at that event.
There are also certain strategic reasons for Ukraine to stay in Germany's spotlight.
First, Merkel's government believes Ukraine must maintain economic success so that it can withstand the confrontation with Russia. Russia annexed Crimea and has been supporting pro-Kremlin separatists in Donbas since 2014. At that, the Russian state-run media depict Ukraine as politically and economically impotent country.
Secondly, Ukraine has to help the EU reach the ambitious goal, to become climatically neutral before 2050. Ukraine's largest country has to play the major part in the EU's "green deal". In the mid-term perspective, Ukraine will be supplying to EU some 7.5 GWt of "green" hydrogen. That's almost one-fifth of the entire amount of hydrogen, which should be produced in the EU by 2030 (40 GWt).
According to Oleksandr Markus, the head of Ukrainian-German trading chamber in Kyiv, "if they succeed with that, it will change the game rules in the relations between the EU, Germany and Ukraine". However, turning the transit gas pipeline, which runs from Russia across Ukraine into a hydrogen-based project will require huge investments.