A compromise was found between the United States and Germany on the subject of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Washington and Berlin announced, Wednesday, July 21, an agreement to resolve the dispute that has opposed them for several years on this project. is indeed at the heart of a geopolitical and economic battle between Russia, the Europeans, and the United States.
This agreement, expected, must be presented in detail later Wednesday, confirmed the number three of the American diplomacy, Victoria Nuland. The White House was reassured by the content of the compromise,: “Germany has committed by this agreement to take measures at national and European level against Russia if the latter attempts to use energy as a weapon or to commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine, she said. pledged that sanctions restricting Russia’s energy export capacity to Europe will be taken. “ said the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
Ukraine must remain “a country of transit”
US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have also pledged to try to compensate the losses for Ukraine, which will be deprived of part of the Russian gas transit via Nord Stream 2.
The two countries also plead for the gas to continue to “transit through Ukraine after 2024”, a deadline currently provided for in an agreement with Russia. “Germany pledges to use all its leverage to facilitate an extension of up to a further ten years” of this transit agreement, and will appoint “a special envoy to support these negotiations” by September 1, according to the joint statement.
The German leader in particular promised to the United States to “create” in the long term a “green fund of one billion dollars” to “support the energy transition of Ukraine”. Initial donation from Berlin, 150 million euros.
The United States has opposed this pipeline for years. They deplore that it passes by the Baltic Sea, but not by Ukraine, threatening to deprive this country of part of the revenues collected on the transit, but also of a means of pressure on Moscow.
Joe Biden, however, ended up in the spring by giving up imposing sanctions to block the project, believing that it was too late and that it was better to bet on cooperation with Germany, which is favorable to Nord Stream 2.
“A gift” to Putin
This reversal has earned the American president criticism from Republicans, but also from many tenors of his Democratic camp.
“We always knew that Biden shared Putin’s bed, now they are cuddling”, taunted, provocatively, the Trumpist senator Ted Cruz, evoking a “gift” allowing “Russian dictators” to “blackmail energy “to Europe.
Doubling gas exports to Europe
Nord Stream 2 will connect Russia to Germany via a 1,230 km tube under the Baltic Sea with a capacity of 55 billion m3 of gas per year, on the same route as its twin Nord Stream 1, operational since 2012 When completed, normally next month, it will double natural gas exports from Russia to Europe.
Operated by the Russian giant Gazprom, the Nord Stream 2 project is estimated at more than 10 billion euros. It was co-financed by five European groups in the energy sector (OMV, Engie, Wintershall Dea, Uniper and Shell).
Within the European Union, Germany is the main promoter of the gas pipeline which, according to it, will help it accomplish the energy transition to which it is committed, while making its territory a European gas hub.
If Russia is satisfied with the progress of the project thanks to this compromise reached, Poland and Ukraine, affirmed that Nord Stream 2 was a threat for all of Central Europe, believing that it gave birth to new political, military and energy threats.