Tuesday, July 20, 2021
“No final details yet”
Agreement on Nord Stream 2 is imminent
The dispute over Nord Stream 2 cannot be cleared out of the way during Merkel’s farewell visit to Washington last week. But now a result of the dipolmatic negotiations is emerging. The US State Department announces a compromise.
In the dispute over the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline, the USA is about to reach an agreement with Germany. “We don’t have any final details to announce yet, but I think I’ll be able to say more soon,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday. “The Germans have made useful suggestions,” he said, referring to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to US President Joe Biden at the White House last week.
They had come closer to the common goal of “preventing Russia from using energy flows as a weapon,” said Price. Merkel had admitted differences with President Biden during her visit to Washington. However, both agreed that Ukraine must remain a transit country for Russian natural gas – even after Nord Stream 2 went into operation.
Nord Stream 2 is supposed to transport Russian natural gas to Germany. The now almost completed pipeline has been causing tension both within Europe and between Berlin and Washington for years.
Biden is extremely critical of the project. The USA fears that Europe will become more dependent on Russian gas and that it will suffer economic damage to the traditional transit countries for Russian gas, especially Ukraine.
Nevertheless, after taking office in January, Biden positioned himself against imposing sanctions on the companies involved in Nord Stream 2. “When I became president, the pipeline was 95 percent ready. Sanctions made no sense,” he justified the move last week. Instead, he decided to work with Germany.