July 21, 2021 10:51 PM | With information from .
15 minutes. The United States (USA) announced on Wednesday that it reached an agreement with Germany by which it will allow the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, in exchange for guarantees that Berlin will help Ukraine so that the project does not threaten its energy security.
The pact resolves the greatest source of tension in the relationship between Washington and Berlin: the resounding US opposition to that gas pipeline that will link Russia and Germany through the Baltic Sea and which is almost finished.
In a joint statement, the United States and Germany listed a number of conditions under which, in practice, the US government agrees to the completion of that project, of which more than 95% has already been built.
The agreement “is designed to ensure that Russia will not misuse any gas pipeline, including Nord Stream 2, for aggressive political ends by using energy as a weapon, “the statement said.
Concern in Europe
The United States’ opposition to the pipeline was mainly due to the concerns of its allies in Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine. This one fears that this project allow Russia to scrap the gas transit route through Ukrainian territory.
Under the agreement, Germany will help Ukraine negotiate “extensions of up to 10 years” to its gas transit contracts with Russia.
Germany will even appoint a special envoy to carry out these negotiations, which will begin “as soon as possible and no later than September 1”.
Furthermore, Germany is committed to taking political action “if Russia tries to use energy as a weapon or commits new aggressive acts against Ukraine.”
In that case, “Germany will act at the national level and push for effective measures to be taken at the European level, including sanctions, to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector, including gas, or in other relevant economic sectors, “he says.
Furthermore, Germany is committed to “establishing and managing a Green Fund for Ukraine”. This will support the energy transition to cleaner sources in the European country, according to the statement.
Criticism in the US Congress
Germany will initially donate at least $ 175 million to the fund. In addition, both Washington and Berlin are committed to promoting investments in this project of “at least 1 billion dollars”, including some from the private sector.
Those guarantees did not appease criticism in the US Congress, where senators from both parties expressed their opposition to the agreement with Germany.
The State Department replied that it did not have many alternatives to this arrangement. This is because the Trump administration “did not apply sanctions related to the pipeline until his last day in power.”
“We continue to oppose Nord Stream, we continue to consider it a geopolitical project by Russia to extend its evil influence in Europe,” a senior State Department official, who requested anonymity, clarified this Wednesday in a telephone press conference.