It was one of the issues that most complicated relations between the United States and Germany in recent years. After several months of tough negotiations, Washington and Berlin announced, Wednesday, July 21, that they had reached an agreement on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is to transport Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea.
In practice, the agreement will allow the completion of the site, 98% complete, but delayed by the sanctions imposed by the United States against several companies involved in the project. In return for the lifting of sanctions, demanded by Germany, US President Joe Biden negotiated an agreement with Berlin to prevent Russia from using energy to harm Ukraine.
“Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit other aggressive acts against Ukraine, Germany will take action at the national level, and push for effective measures at the national level. European Union, including sanctions, to limit Russian export capacities to Europe in the energy sector ”, is it written in the press release.
In addition, Berlin and Washington pledge that Russian gas will continue to “Transit through Ukraine after 2024”, deadline currently provided for in an agreement with Moscow. “Germany undertakes to use all its means of pressure to facilitate an extension [de cet accord] up to ten additional years’, indicates the agreement, which specifies that Berlin will appoint a “Special envoy” responsible for these negotiations by 1is September. For Kiev, this is an important source of income: in 2019, 40% of the 199 billion cubic meters of natural gas supplied to Europe by the Russian giant Gazprom had passed through Ukrainian territory.
Finally, Germany undertakes to create a “Green fund” for “Supporting the energy transition” of Ukraine, to which she promises to contribute to the author of 150 million euros in order to “Promote and support investments for at least $ 1 billion [848 millions d’euros] ».
Five days after Angela Merkel’s visit to Washington, this agreement looks like a diplomatic victory for the German Chancellor, who has always defended Nord Stream 2. “We are relieved to have found a constructive agreement with the United States on Nord Stream 2”, welcomed its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, on Twitter on Wednesday evening. “I am happy that transatlantic cooperation is once again in good shape”, also welcomed its Minister of the Economy, Peter Altmaier.
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