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Nord Stream 2: US and Germany reach a deal

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The US has reached a deal with Germany to prevent Russia from using its Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as political leverage over Europe. Under the terms of the US-German deal, Ukraine will get US$50 million in green energy technology credits and a guarantee of repayment for gas transit fees it will lose by being bypassed by the pipeline through 2024, according to the Associated Press.

The USA and Germany on Wednesday announced a deal to allow the completion of a controversial Russian gas pipeline to Europe without the imposition of further US sanctions. The agreement aims to stanch fears about European dependence on Russian energy, but it was immediately assailed by critics who said it doesn’t go far enough.

Under the terms of the deal, the US and Germany committed to countering any Russian attempt to use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a political weapon. And they agreed to support Ukraine and Poland, both of which are bypassed by the project and fear Russia’s intentions, by funding alternative energy and development projects.

“The United States and Germany are united in their determination to hold Russia to account for its aggression and malign activities by imposing costs via sanctions and other tools,” they said in a joint statement that covered Nord Stream 2 as well as Russia’s support for separatists in 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,” it said.

The Nord Stream 2 project has posed a major foreign policy dilemma for the Biden administration. US officials from both parties have long feared that it would give Russia too much power over European gas supplies. But the pipeline is almost completed and the US has been determined to rebuild ties with Germany that were damaged during the Trump administration.

Poland and Ukraine expressed their displeasure over the decision to allow the pipeline’s completion and said the efforts to reduce the Russian security threat were not sufficient.

The near-complete 1230km (764 miles) pipeline under the Baltic Sea will double Russian gas exports to Germany.

 

 

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