Russia is likely to risk European sanctions if it were to use the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany to exert political pressure on Ukraine. According to the American government, this is the conclusion of an agreement between Germany and the United States on the gas project that has been controversial for years.
“Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or take further aggressive actions against Ukraine, Germany will take action at the national level and push for effective action at the European level,” US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said. Germany has pledged to support an extension of existing agreements between Russia and Ukraine on gas transit.
US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently openly disagreed over the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 project.
Merkel, however, remained behind the pipeline at a press conference with Biden, which should ensure a direct and secure supply of energy to Europe’s largest economy. The chancellor added that Ukraine must remain an “energy transit country” even after Nord Stream 2 is implemented.
Last month, the Russian government said that Nord Stream 2 would finally be ready by the end of this year. The project has been in the works for years, albeit with interruptions because the work has been halted for a long time due to legal haggling. Washington previously also threatened to impose sanctions on companies that cooperated in the construction.
Many companies are involved in the project, including the oil and gas group Shell. The pipeline is more than 1200 kilometres long and runs through the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream 2 aims to double the capacity for gas supplies from Russia to Germany.