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Ukraine and Poland have slammed a deal by Germany and the US to allow the completion of a controversial pipeline to carry Russian gas, saying it poses a major security and military threat. For most countries in central and eastern Europe, the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline is not simply a controversial project. Rather, they see it as a measure of the credibility of German policy in the region. And, right now, that credibility is in tatters. This week’s US-German agreement in the Nord Stream 2 dispute, which would allow the completion of the gas pipeline to Europe without the imposition of further US sanctions, has sparked anger and fueled fears in many eastern European countries that view the project as a security threat. For countries such as Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states in particular, but also for Romania, the question is whether Germany is serious about its criticism of Russia’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy under President Vladimir Putin or whether German economic interests ultimately outweigh taking a firm stance toward Moscow.

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