August 24, 2018 / 6:41 AM / 9 months ago

Baltic pipeline won't make us energy-dependent on Russia: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures as she meets with students at the university in Tbilisi, Georgia August 24, 2018. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

TBILISI (Reuters) - A planned sub-sea pipeline that will bring gas directly from Russia under the Baltic Sea will not make Germany dependent on Russia for energy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told university students in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

On the second day of a trip to the countries of the Caucasus, many of which have an uneasy relationship with their larger northern neighbor, Merkel reaffirmed that Berlin wanted to make sure that Russia would continue to deliver some gas via Ukraine even after the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was finished.

Critics of the pipeline, which is being developed by Russian state gas giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM), say it will deprive Ukraine of crucial leverage over its eastern neighbor.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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