21 Jul 2021
The United States and Germany will take action against Russia if it uses the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to harm Ukraine or other Eastern European countries, according to two sources familiar with a bilateral agreement expected on Wednesday.
The agreement, hammered out in recent months by senior U.S. and German officials and first reported by Reuters on Tuesday, will resolve a long-standing dispute over the $11 billion pipeline, now 98% complete, being built under the Baltic Sea to carry gas from Russia’s Arctic region to Germany. read more
U.S. officials insist they continue to oppose the pipeline, but said the U.S.-German agreement would mitigate the possibility of Russia using energy as a weapon against Ukraine and other countries in the region.
The United States worries that Russia could cut off energy supplies to Ukraine or other countries as a form of aggression, and also fears that Ukraine will miss out on transit fees for gas now carried on an existing land-based pipeline.
The agreement will avert, for now, the resumption of congressionally mandated sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive. President Joe Biden waived those sanctions in May to allow time for both sides to negotiate a way forward.
But the Biden administration reserves the right to use sanctions on a case-by-case basis, in line with U.S. law, one of the sources said.
By Andrea Shalal and Simon Lewis, Reuters, 20 July 2021
Read more at Reuters
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