The U.S. and Germany have reached an agreement to resolve a long-standing dispute Beixi 2 The pipeline, including Berlin’s pledge, will impose sanctions on Russia if Moscow threatens the energy security of its neighbors.
Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the news after a bilateral meeting at the White House last week and will ease Diplomatic dispute between the two countries Energy supply in Europe.
The construction of the North Stream pipeline, which will transport the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, has long been a pain point between Washington and Berlin. U.S. officials believe this is a geopolitical plan of Vladimir Putin, which aims to make Europe continue to rely on Russian energy while endangering the security of Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland and Ukraine.
A US official said that according to the agreement announced on Wednesday, if Moscow’s energy policy endangers Washington’s regional allies, Berlin promised to impose sanctions on Moscow, which may include measures to restrict Russia’s energy export capabilities to Europe.
Part of the agreement includes new funding from Germany, aimed at accelerating Ukraine’s green energy transition and protecting its energy infrastructure.
A US official said that Berlin will set up a $1 billion fund to facilitate Ukraine’s transition to clean energy, starting with an initial $175 million, and the United States will help promote and support investment. Berlin will provide another 70 million U.S. dollars to improve Ukraine’s energy infrastructure security, including building its network capabilities.
A senior US official said that Germany will also appoint a special envoy to help Kiev negotiate with Russia to extend its gas transit agreement with Russia beyond 2024 to allow Ukraine to continue to earn gas transit fees for “as long as possible”.
The official said: “If Russia engages in these malicious activities, we are committed to working with our allies and partners to make Russia pay a huge price, including in the areas of sanctions and energy flows.”
When the United States and Germany issued a joint statement to promote their agreement, Ukrainian officials reacted fiercely. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter that the country will start consultations with the European Union and Germany on the legality of the pipeline: “Explanations have been sent to Brussels and Berlin,” Kuleba Added.
Ukrainian President Zelensky’s office stated in a statement that during the Ukrainian leader’s visit to the White House on August 30, “negotiations on the North Stream 2 project’s security threats to Ukraine and the region will continue.” Biden The government announced this. Just a few hours before the signing of the pipeline agreement.
Zelensky’s chief of staff Andrei Yermak held talks with U.S. State Department Counselor Derek Cholet in Kiev earlier on Wednesday. “Beixi-2 is Russia’s geopolitical weapon and will definitely be used against Ukraine and Europe,” Yermak said in a statement.
According to a data from the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Germany’s “consistent dedication” to the Beixi 2 project in a call with Merkel on Wednesday. He called the project “completely commercial. Aims to ensure the energy security of Germany and the European Union”. It added that the leaders discussed extending Gazprom’s commitment to deliver natural gas through Ukraine after the current agreement expires in 2024.
Biden’s action earlier this year to impose sanctions on Russians associated with the Beixi No. 2 pipeline—while abandoning penalties for European pipeline operators—opened the door to final negotiations.
Biden has stated that he disagrees with Merkel’s merits of the pipeline, but his government has to admit that by the time he took office in January, the pipeline was nearly complete.
On Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that Biden had made “very clear” to Merkel last week that the United States continued to oppose the North Stream 2 project.
“We continue to see it as a geopolitical project of the Kremlin, with the goal of expanding Russia’s influence on European energy resources. We still believe that this is a bad deal for Germany and a deal for Ukraine. A bad deal is also a bad deal for Europe and Europe’s broader energy security goals,” Price told reporters.
A State Department official said: “Of course, we thought the previous government could have done more.” “But, you know, we are making the most of a bad hand.”
Additional reporting by Max Seddon in Moscow