United States and Germany strike agreement for allow completion of Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

Workers during the production process of pipes at the Nord Stream 2 plant in Mukran on Ruegen Island in Sassnitz, Germany.

Carsten Koall | .

WASHINGTON – United States and Germany have reached an agreement by agreement allow completion of the $ 11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a long-standing and thorny point of contention among otherwise loyal allies.

The agreement reached between Washington and Berlin, that was announced Wednesday, aim to invest more of 200 million euros in Energy security in Ukraine and sustainable energy in all over Europe.

“If Russia were to try to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine, Germany will speak at national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions to limit Russia’s export capacities in Europe in the energy sector “, a senior State Department official She said on a call with journalists on Wednesday.

The senior State Department official, who anonymity required in to candidly discuss the agreement, added the United States will do it also retain the prerogative of impose sanctions in case Russia uses energy as a tool of coercion.

The official stated that the United States and Germany are “resolutely committed to sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Ukraine and therefore, closely consulted with Kiev on this topic.

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The discomfort that surrounds the almost complete Nord Stream 2 project, a vast undersea pipeline that will pump Russian gas directly in Germany, derives from Moscow’s history of using the energy sector to obtain leverage over Russia’s neighbors, namely Ukraine.

Once completed, the undersea pipeline will extend 764 miles from Russia to Germany, making it one of the longest offshore pipelines in the world. Last month, the Kremlin said that only 62 miles of Nord Stream 2 were left for build.

In May, the United States renounced sanctions on the company with its registered office in Switzerland Nord Stream 2 AG, which operates the pipeline project, and its German CEO. The resignation gave Berlin and Washington three more months to reach an agreement on Nord Stream 2.

The agreement arrives on the back of The visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House, the first by a European leader from Biden took office and probably her last trip to Washington after nearly 16 years at the helm of The largest in Europe economy.

Merkel, the first woman a lead Germany has already said it will step down after September national elections.

During a joint press conference at the White House, Merkel pledged to take a tough stance against Russia if Moscow abused the energy sector for political gains.

White House Wednesday announced that Biden will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky next month.

Forward of the July 15 meeting, Biden administration officials and representatives from Germany told CNBC that the leaders of the world’s largest and fourth largest economies were looking forward to rebuild a frayed transatlantic relationship.

A photo of the handout provided by the German government press office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Joe Biden stand in feet in the White House with a view of the Washington Monument on July 15, 2021 in Washington DC.

Guido Bergmann | Pantry | . News | .

“Obviously, over the past years, we had a number of fits and starts in the bilateral relationship “, said a senior German government official, who anonymity required in to speak openly about Merkel’s agenda.

“The whole goal was on matters in which we did not agree “, the official he said, adding that at times “allies were seen as enemies”.

Throughout his administration, former President Donald Trump often dressed down allies and often single out Merkel’s Germany for to be a “delinquent” in their payments “to NATO.

Last year, Trump approved a plan that would eliminate 9,500 US troops stationed in Germany to others countries, another blow to transatlantic relations.

“The relationship between the US and Germany was heavily negatively affected during the Trump administration. So, there was no doubt that the relationship needed to be renewed and rebuilt, etc.” professor at Columbia University’s School of Public and international affairs.

Radon, a law scholar who it worked in more of 70 countries on energy issues, spoke to the complex nature of global energy agreements.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline aims to double the volume of exported natural gas directly To Germany via a network under the Baltic Sea, bypassing an existing route through Ukraine.

“Once you try to deliver gas or oil through a pipeline through transit countries, you always wear in a difficult situation because you have a third party party this is also involved, “Randon said.

“It is not just the seller, it is not just the buyer, there is also transit one, but you are not in absolute control over that third country, “he said, adding that” doing transit deals is among the most difficult “.

Workers are seen at the construction site of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, near the city of Kingisepp, Leningrad region, Russia, June 5, 2019.

Anton Vaganov | Reuters

Experts on the region see the underwater pipeline as a shape of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

“By eliminating Ukraine as a transit country, Russia can deny it the benefits of having the gas delivered through its territory,” explained Stephen Sestanovich. senior partner for Russian and Eurasian Studies to the Council on Foreign relations.

There are two elements to the issue that people they often mix up, he added, indicating Russia ability for use natural gas as a political weapon against Ukraine as well as yours ability hurt Ukraine economy.

“That’s why the Biden administration has focused on trying to limit or compensate for any economic hit – and he wants a firm German buy-in on that goal, “He said.

However, the taking of Russia over The American allies are in somehow weakened due to the changes in energy markets, according to Sestanovich.

“In the years in which has been discussed about Nord Stream 2 and now it is almost finished, the energy markets have changed, and it has become much more difficult for Russia holds the European countries hostage – there are just too many alternative sources of energy, “he said.” The image we have of Russia with a strict policy on our allies are becoming obsolete. “

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