The United States and Germany have reached a deal on the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that warns Russia of sanctions and seeks to expand gas transit through Ukraine, a US official said on Wednesday.
Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, said full details would be announced later Wednesday of an agreement that aims to address long-standing US concerns over the near-completed pipeline between Russia and Germany .
“It’s a bad situation and a bad pipeline, but we have to help protect Ukraine and I think we’ve taken some important steps in that direction,” Nuland said at a Senate hearing amid criticism. rapid republican lawmakers.
US President Joe Biden, who hosted Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, has lifted most of the Nord Stream sanctions required by Congress, arguing it was already nearing completion and better to work with Germany .
The pipeline crossing the Baltic Sea has been vigorously opposed by Ukraine, which has been fighting pro-Moscow separatists since 2014 and considers the transit of Russian gas through its territory as an essential lever.
“Germany has committed to this agreement with us that if Russia tries to use energy as a weapon or commits further aggressive acts against Ukraine, Germany will take action at the national level and lobby for effective measures at European level, including sanctions to limit Russian export capacities to Europe in the energy sector, ”Nuland said.
Nuland said Germany has also agreed to work alongside the United States to pressure Russia to extend for 10 years a transit deal through Ukraine that is due to expire at the end of 2024.
The White House announced later Wednesday that Biden would receive Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House on August 30.
Another senior State Department official, Derek Chollet, visited Ukraine and Poland this week to discuss the gas pipeline deal.
Nuland said the deal would also contain “concrete” financial figures to help Ukraine diversify its energy supplies.
© 2021 AFP