The USA and Germany come to an agreement in the dispute over Nord Stream 2
There is a solution to the dispute over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea: As a state secretary at the US State Department said, Germany and the USA have reached an agreement. The pipeline is to be completed, but sanctions remain an option.
Dhe USA and Germany have reached an agreement that allows the completion of the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 without the imposition of new US sanctions. State Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress on Wednesday.
Both governments plan to announce details of the agreement shortly. Washington and Berlin have agreed to impose sanctions on Russia and German companies if Moscow should use the pipeline as a political weapon, said the third highest US diplomat.
The German government had previously expressed confidence that an agreement will soon be reached in the dispute with the USA over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The financial news agency Bloomberg and the “Wall Street Journal” had reported, citing sources in Berlin and Washington, that an agreement had been reached.
It was expected that the German-American agreement on Nord Stream 2 would also stipulate that Ukraine would receive a loan of 50 million dollars (42.4 million euros) for “green technology” and a guarantee for the replacement of transit income for Russian natural gas by 2024, according to congress circles on Tuesday.
Merkel spoke to Biden about Nord Stream 2
The pipeline was an issue during Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Washington last week. Merkel is for the pipeline, US President Joe Biden has indicated that punishing Germany for this could be counterproductive for broader US interests.
Biden and Merkel made it clear in Washington last Thursday that they continue to have different views on Nord Stream 2. Biden warned Russia against using its energy resources as a “weapon” or leverage against its neighbors like Ukraine.
Merkel emphasized that Nord Stream 2 is an additional project and not an alternative to gas transit through Ukraine. “Our understanding was and is and will remain that Ukraine remains a transit country for natural gas.” Anything else would “cause very great tensions”. She assured “that we will act actively if Russia does not honor Ukraine’s right to a transit country”.
In Washington, politicians from both parties fear that Nord Stream 2 could cut off natural gas supplies to Poland and Ukraine and give Moscow too much power over the European gas supply. But the pipeline is almost finished and the administration of US President Biden seems determined to repair the relations with Berlin that were damaged during the tenure of his predecessor Donald Trump.
Biden has not imposed any sanctions on the German company that is building the pipeline. It is expected that the German-American agreement on Nord Stream 2 will stipulate that Ukraine will receive a loan of 50 million dollars (42.4 million euros) for “green technology”, a guarantee for the replacement of transit income for Russian Natural gas by 2024 and a pledge from Berlin and Washington that sanctions against Russia will be considered again if Moscow should use gas as a political weapon, according to Congress circles.