The controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, between Russia and Germany, will not come if it is escalated again between Russia and Ukraine. On Sunday evening, the new German Foreign Minister, Annalena Barbock, confirmed the existence of an agreement between Germany and the United States.
Because of the current tensions on the Russia-Ukraine border, “the Americans and the German government led by Angela Merkel have agreed that this pipeline cannot work if it comes to another escalation,” Barbock told German broadcaster ZDF.
Earlier this week, US officials already notified Congress of the agreement.
Invasion of Ukraine
Western countries fear that Russia is considering an invasion of Ukraine in the coming weeks. Moscow gathered several thousand soldiers in the border area. US President Biden spoke with his Russian counterpart Putin earlier this week, hoping to ease tensions.
Barbock participated in this weekend’s G7 summit, which was devoted, among other things, to tensions between Russia and Ukraine. She will meet her European colleagues on Monday. The topic will also be high on the agenda there.
The new German chancellor, Olaf Schulz, also issued somewhat more subtle warnings to Russia. Schultz visited Warsaw on Sunday to meet his colleague Mateusz Morawiecki. He also urged the Polish prime minister to ban Nord Stream 2 from opening.
The pipeline has been completed, but it is still awaiting approval for its use from German authorities. The certification process was suspended in November due to a legal hurdle. The German regulator’s approval is one of the last steps before commissioning the pipeline, which is expected to double Russian gas supplies to Germany. However, the delay has made it unlikely that Nord Stream 2 will be able to help alleviate gas shortages in Europe this winter.
Washington has long considered the Trans-Baltic Sea Pipeline to be strategically dangerous. Thus, Russia can limit energy supplies in Europe. In addition, Moscow may decide to stop using existing pipelines through Ukraine and put pressure on that country.
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