The US and German authorities have come to an agreement on the conditions under which the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be used. On Wednesday, US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland spoke about some of the details of this agreement, to which the parties were going for a long time. In the agreement, the leaders of both countries express their readiness to seek a 10-year extension of the agreement on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. This agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine expires in 2024. “We will seek, using leverage, to extend it for 10 years,” Victoria Nuland said at a hearing in the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Her words leads Interfax.
The agreement also provides that Washington and Berlin will seek to reduce “both the economic dependence of Ukraine on the transit of Russian gas, and Ukraine’s dependence on gas supplies to its territory from the Russian Federation.” For these purposes, the United States and Germany will allocate “specific amounts in dollars and euros” quotes Nuland TASS.
The US Undersecretary of State also said that the Germans have taken on additional responsibilities to counter the Russian threat. The German side is ready to take measures in the event that Russia uses the supply of energy resources to put pressure on other countries, or takes aggressive actions against its southwestern neighbor.
“Germany has pledged to take measures at the national level, as well as to seek measures at the EU level, including sanctions, if Russia uses energy as a weapon or takes aggressive actions against Ukraine,” said Victoria Nuland.
According to her, such retaliatory measures will be aimed at “limiting Russian energy exports to Europe.”
The fact that there is a similar clause in the agreement was previously reported by Bloomberg, which gained access to a draft version of the agreement between the United States and Germany.
Victoria Nuland also commented on the publication of the Politico newspaper that Washington allegedly demanded that Kiev stop criticizing the Nord Stream 2 project. “We imposed significant sanctions in May against an additional 19 organizations, and we also imposed sanctions on the operator. [газопровода] and employees, but we put them on hold to see if we could get Germany to work with us, Ukraine and Poland on the implications and vulnerabilities this pipeline poses for Ukraine, ”Nuland said.
She assured that the United States “took no action to [заставить] Ukraine to be silent ”. “Ukraine is a sovereign country and speaks for itself,” the diplomat emphasized.
Until recently, the US administration opposed the implementation of Nord Stream 2 and imposed a number of sanctions on this project. Thus, at the end of May, the sanctions were extended to a number of companies and vessels participating in the construction of the gas pipeline, but the operator Nord Stream 2 AG avoided them. This decision was criticized by some American politicians, as well as by the Ukrainian authorities.
The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two lines of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. meters per year from the coast of Russia across the Baltic Sea to Germany. A number of EU countries and the United States believe that the project will give Moscow the opportunity to increase pressure on the EU and Ukraine, whose economy is significantly affected by gas transit.
The construction of Nord Stream 2 was halted in December 2019 after the inclusion in the US military budget of sanctions against vessels conducting offshore pipe-laying. Due to the imposition of sanctions, the Swiss contractor Allseas has curtailed work on the project. After that, the Russian side undertook to complete the construction of the highway on its own. In December 2020, Nord Stream 2 AG (owned by Gazprom) resumed pipe laying. All construction work is scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer.