United States and Germany have reached an agreement that may finalize the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project that the President’s Administration opposed Joe Biden considering that it was an initiative that Russia could use to gain influence.
In a joint statement by the United States and Germany on supporting Ukraine, European energy security and climate goals, both countries have pointed to a ‘compromise’ that is’ designed to ensure that Russia will not misuse of any pipeline, including Nord Stream 2, to achieve aggressive political fines using energy as a weapon.
Likewise, a senior State Department official has indicated that while Washington continues to oppose the gas pipeline, which it describes as “a project of malicious Russian geopolitical influence,” it has reached “the judgment that sanctions would not stop its construction.”
“We risk undermining a critical alliance with Germany, as well as with the European Union and other European allies,” the senior official warned to defend the agreement, which includes taking “quick measures” by Germany to prevent Moscow. use the project to increase the European dependency of your energy supplies.
Specifically, Berlin has agreed to take a series of measures aimed at mitigating risks to energy security in Europe, Ukraine, and EU and NATO countries close to Russian borders. In the past, Russia cut off the power supply to other countries, including Ukraine, CNN has registered about it.
The package of measures is designed to address’ the root causes of those risks, Russia’s use of energy as geopolitical weapon and the vulnerability of countries like Ukraine, which depends on Russian gas and transit fees, to Russian evil activities. ‘
“Throughout this process, both we and our German partners have consulted closely with Ukraine and Poland, as well as other countries that would be adversely affected by this project on their concerns, which we have taken into account,” explained the senior official. American on the deal.
A “good step” for Merkel
The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, described this Thursday as a “good step” the agreement reached between Berlin and Washington in relation to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will transport gas from Russia to Germany.
Merkel has argued that the agreement does not mean the end of all differences regarding the controversial German-Russian gas pipeline, but rather an attempt to establish certain conditions between the two powers.
Thus, the German Chancellor has argued that Ukraine will continue to be a transit country for Russian gas destined for Europe and that the energy cannot be used to put Ukraine in a difficult situation, according to the German news agency DPA.
For his part, the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, has applauded the agreement and said he felt “relieved” for having achieved “a constructive solution with the United States on the issue of Nord Stream 2,” according to a message on his account on the social network Twitter.
I’m relieved that we’re in business # NordStream2 with the #USA🇺🇸 have found a constructive solution. We will the #Ukraine🇺🇦 Support in building a green energy sector & work to secure gas transit through Ukraine in the next decade.
– Heiko Maas 🇪🇺 (@HeikoMaas) July 21, 2021
Geopolitical weapon in Europe
He also referred to the fact that the joint statement sent a “clear message” that the United States and Germany “will not tolerate Russia using energy as a geopolitical weapon in Europe or intensifying its aggression against Ukraine.”
“We are committed to working together with our allies and partners to impose significant costs on Russia, including in the areas of sanctions and energy flows, if they engage in these malicious activities,” he added.
Also, it has affected that both Washington What Berlin They know that “it will take a lot of time and resources” for Ukraine to “end its dependence on Russian energy.”
In this regard, within the framework of the agreement, Germany has committed to appoint a special envoy and use “its available leverage in the period before the Nord Stream 2 project goes live”, with the aim of helping Ukraine to “negotiate an extension of its gas transit contract with Russia well beyond 2024” .
“This proposed extension, the negotiation of which the United States will actively support, would preserve gas flows and transit revenue that Ukraine could otherwise lose once the pipeline is operational, postponing the negative impacts of the pipeline on Ukraine and other transit countries such as Slovakia, ”the senior official said.
Regarding the agreed measures, the senior official has said that as part of the Energy and Climate Partnership between the United States and Germany, the European nation has committed to creating and managing a Green Fund of 1,000 million dollars (more than 848 million euros) in support of Ukraine’s energy transition, energy efficiency and energy security.
“The objectives of the fund will be to promote the use of renewable energy, facilitate the development of hydrogen, increase energy efficiency, accelerate the transition from coal and promote carbon neutrality,” he said.
To boost this fund, Germany will provide an initial donation of at least 150 million euros andwill work to extend that commitment into future budget years.
According to the senior official, the United States will work with Germany to support the fund’s objectives with assistance programs and policy support, in addition to helping promote and support investments in the fund.
Second, Germany has also committed to a € 60 million ‘resilience package’ to support energy security in Ukraine, with guidelines to ‘safeguard reverse flow, facilitate grid integration, develop energy cybernetic ability for critical infrastructure and to support the modernization and reform of the energy sector ”.
“In light of the adverse effects that Nord Stream 2 should be on the Central and Eastern European EU member states, Germany will also enhance its commitment to the Three Seas Initiative, with a view to investing in related projects or part of the initiative . This is in addition to 1,500 million euros that Germany will invest in energy projects as part of the EU budget between 2021 and 2027, “the senior US official also highlighted.
Finally, Germany has also committed to implement ‘the letter and spirit’ of the EU’s Third Energy Package with regard to Nord Stream 2, which ‘will support the principles of diversity and security of supply within the energy markets of the European Union”.
«These measures will help prevent worst of cases: an operational Nord Stream 2 without protection from its adverse effects for Ukraine, the front-line countries of NATO and the EU, and European energy security as a whole, ”the senior official insisted.
Russia rejects “hostile tonality”
The Russian Ambassador to the United States, Anatoli Antonov, has rejected the accusations against Russia contained in the declaration of Germany and the United States.
“The hostile tone directed at our country fundamentally contradicts the spirit of the talks between the two presidents in Geneva on June 16“He lamented in a statement collected by the Russian news agency TASS.
He has also criticized that the “attempts” to present Moscow as an “aggressor” and a country “involved in evil activities” have become “for a long time” the “business card of the Russophobes.”
“The threats against us are unfounded and useless,” he continued, to defend that Russia has “never” inflicted deliveries of energy resources.
“We reject any accusation in this regard. We consider these attempts as nothing more than unscrupulous competition “, has sentenced Antonov.