Ukraine needs NATO membership to counter Nord Stream 2 threat, Ukraine's Naftogaz says

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) - Ukraine should be given NATO membership to guarantee its security as Russia is using the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a geopolitical weapon, the head of Ukraine’s state energy firm Naftogaz Yuriy Vitrenko told Reuters on Wednesday.

Vitrenko was speaking shortly before Germany and the United States unveiled a deal that spells out the consequences for Russia if it uses the new $11 billion project to harm Ukraine or other eastern European countries.

Speaking on a video call during a visit to Washington D.C., Vitrenko said Russian President Vladimir Putin “is now using gas as a geopolitical weapon against Ukraine and the whole region.”

“Since our concerns are for example first and foremost about the security, NATO membership would probably address this security concern.”

Reporting by Matthias Williams; editing by Richard Pullin