Yesterday Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the compromise, an agreement designed to allow the €9.5 billion pipeline to open this fall.

With Angela Merkel’s plan to step down after the September 27 Bundestag elections, the Greens, her party’s main opponents, were scathing. “At a time when Putin is putting massive rhetorical and military pressure on Ukraine and once again questioning the country’s sovereignty, Washington and Berlin are sending the wrong signals to Moscow,” said Oliver Krischer, the Vice-Chairman of the party’s parliamentary group, and Manuel Sarrazin, the spokesman for Eastern European policy.