RT Banner 2021V4.gif

China Daily

News> World> Content
Published: 11:01, July 22, 2021 | Updated: 12:14, July 22, 2021
US, Germany reach deal on contentious Nord Stream 2
By Xinhua
Published:11:01, July 22, 2021 Updated:12:14, July 22, 2021 By Xinhua

This file photo taken on Sept 07, 2020 shows the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility in Lubmin, north eastern Germany. (ODD ANDERSEN / AFP)

WASHINGTON - The United States and Germany on Wednesday announced an agreement on the issue of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, an effort to reduce the risk that the contentious project could pose to Ukraine.

The 1,230-km gas pipeline, expected to be completed next month, would bring 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea.

Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine, Germany will take action at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions, to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector, including gas.

The United States-Germany joint statement

A senior State Department official told reporters in a phone briefing that Washington and Berlin had profound differences over the Nord Stream 2, while the allies agreeing on measures to reduce the risk that the project would pose to European energy security and Ukraine.

"Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine, Germany will take action at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions, to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector, including gas," according to a US-Germany joint statement.

Both countries acknowledged that gas transit via Ukraine to continue beyond 2024 serves the interests of Ukraine and Europe, said the statement. "Germany commits to utilize all available leverage to facilitate an extension of up to 10 years to Ukraine's gas transit agreement with Russia."

Under their agreement, Germany and the United States will also promote at least US$1 billion investment for Ukraine to support its energy transition, efficiency, and security.

ALSO READ: US, Germany make progress on Nord Stream 2 issue

"These measures represent a significant commitment by Germany supported by the United States, to push back against Russian malign activities and to advance a more secure and sustainable energy future for Ukraine and other frontline NATO and EU countries," said the senior official.

As a sign of support for Kiev, the White House announced earlier in the day that Biden will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House on Aug. 30.

The United States has long claimed that the Nord Stream 2 is a geopolitical maneuver by Moscow that will undermine Ukraine's role in transiting energy to Europe and increase European dependence on Russian gas. Germany and Russia insisted that the project is purely commercial.

The agreement came days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to the White House last week, when President Joe Biden said the two allies are developing practical measures to ensure energy security in Europe.

Some Republican lawmakers criticized the move. James Risch, a Republican senator from Idaho, said in a Tuesday statement that the agreement "is full of promises and assurances, but offers little in the way of meaningful measures to address the key national security threats Nord Stream 2 poses to US allies and interests."

The Biden administration repeatedly stressed that the project was over 90 percent completed when it assumed office to defend its position.

READ MORE: Russia ready to fill Nord Stream 2 with gas as first line complete

Citing the importance of relations with Germany and the difficulty to stop the nearly completed pipeline, the Biden administration in May waived sanctions against a company behind the pipeline project and its German CEO, which led to opposition from bipartisan lawmakers.

Share this story

CHINA DAILY
HONG KONG NEWS
OPEN
Please click in the upper right corner to open it in your browser !