The US and Germany struck a compromise over the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, according to a joint statement released on July 21st.
“The United States and Germany are steadfast in their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, and chosen European path. We recommit ourselves today to push back against Russian aggression and malign activities in Ukraine and beyond. The United States pledges to support Germany’s and France’s efforts to bring peace to eastern Ukraine via the Normandy Format. Germany will intensify its efforts within the Normandy Format to facilitate the implementation of the Minsk agreements.”
The pact comes days after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s last official visit to Washington prior to leaving office this September. Officials had talked up the chances of an accord during the visit, and during Joe Biden’s tour of Europe in June.
The two countries agreed to support Ukraine and to sanction Russia if it tries to use energy supplies for gaining geopolitical leverage.
“The United States and Germany are united in their determination to hold Russia to account for its aggression and malign activities by imposing costs via sanctions and other tools,” the statement read.
“Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine, Germany will take action at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions, to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector, including gas, and/or in other economically relevant sectors,” it said.
As part of the deal, Germany agreed to make investments into Ukraine and to actively ensure Moscow and Kiev extend a gas transit agreement.
“Additionally, Germany and the US would invest $1 billion in a “Green Fund” to foster Ukrainian green-tech infrastructure, encompassing renewable energy and related industries, with the goal of improving Ukraine’s energy independence. Germany will provide an initial donation to the fund of at least $175 million and will work toward extending its commitments in the coming budget years,” the agreement stated.
Bin erleichtert, dass wir in Sachen #NordStream2 mit den #USA🇺🇸 eine konstruktive Lösung gefunden haben. Wir werden die #Ukraine🇺🇦 beim Aufbau eines grünen Energiesektors unterstützen & uns dafür einsetzen, den Gastransit durch die Ukraine im nächsten Jahrzehnt zu sichern.
— Heiko Maas 🇪🇺 (@HeikoMaas) July 21, 2021
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas lauded the agreement as “constructive.”
He said Germany was “back to pursuing our shared goals and convictions jointly with the United States with regard to Russia policy and energy policy.”
“I am relieved that we found a constructive solution with the US on #NordStream2. We will support Ukraine in building a green energy sector & work to secure gas transit through Ukraine over the next decade,” Maas tweeted.
On July 21st, The White House announced that President Joe Biden would welcome Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the White House on August 31.
“The visit will affirm the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea, our close cooperation on energy security, and our backing for President Zelenskyy’s efforts to tackle corruption and implement a reform agenda based on our shared democratic values,” the White House said in a statement.
Nord Stream 2 is nearly 98% complete and has cost more than €9 billion so far. It will roughly double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline, in operation since 2011, when building work on Nord Stream 2 began.
Crucially, this took place while Russia was still a G8 member (now the G7 once again).
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- U.S. Allegedly Urges Ukraine To Keep Quiet On Nord Stream 2, As Deal With Germany Draws Nearer
- Zelensky Demands Compensation From Germany As Ukraine To Lose Billions From Nord Stream 2