REUTERS The European Commission will no longer be able to block the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, says German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "The project has been almost fully approved," the chancellor said, according to Deutsche Welle&#39;s Russian service. The head of the German government acknowledged that the new gas directive contained the possibility of protesting the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project. But this rule will not be able to stop it, Merkel is positive. At the same time, the "key issue" in the construction of the second gas pipeline laid across the Baltic Sea bottom, in her opinion, is the Ukrainian issue. Read alsoNaftogaz files complaint to European Commission over Gazprom&#39;s abuses of dominance in EU markets "Ukraine must remain a transit country despite Nord Stream ," Merkel emphasized, promising to discuss the issue with Volodymyr Zelensky after he is sworn in as Ukraine&#39;s new president. Regarding the fact that the main candidate for the post of head of the European Commission from the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) Manfred Weber stands against Nord Stream 2, Merkel said this is due to his respect for the position of Eastern European countries which have expressed concerns over the new pipeline. Manfred Weber, the main candidate of European Conservatives in the European Parliament elections, has repeatedly spoken out to oppose the construction of Nord Stream 2. Read alsoRussia may set up another gas crisis – Naftogaz CEO If he succeeds in taking the helm of the European Commission, he will do everything possible to block the project, the German politician said. This gas pipeline is "not in the interests of the European Union" because it will increase the EU&#39;s dependence on Russian raw materials, he believes. As UNIAN reported earlier, on May 14, members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen said they planned to introduce a bill to impose sanctions against companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 construction. UNIAN memo. The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two gas pipeline branches with a total throughput capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It should connect Russia&#39;s Ust-Luga and Germany&#39;s Greifswald. This new pipeline bypassing Ukraine is to be built next to the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The construction of the pipeline should be completed before the end of 2019. The length of the pipeline will be 1,220 km. The project is being implemented by Russia&#39;s Gazprom in alliance with European companies – ENGIE, Uniper, OMV, Shell, and Wintershall. Ukraine stands against the construction of Nord Stream 2 as it will most likely lose its status of a gas transit country and its possible revenue losses are estimated at billions of U.S. dollars. The project is also highly criticized by Poland and the Baltic countries.