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.
However, Ukrainian officials and several U.S. lawmakers stated that Germany’s commitment did not provide enough protection for U.S. allies from possible actions that Russia might take to disrupt energy security.
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 that this is Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical plan 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 under the agreement announced on Wednesday, Berlin promised that if Moscow’s energy policy endangers Washington’s regional allies, it will impose sanctions on Moscow, which may include measures to restrict Russia’s energy exports to Europe.
Berlin will set up a $1 billion fund to promote Ukraine’s transition to clean energy. The initial funding is $175 million, and the United States will help promote and support investment. A US official said that 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 transport agreement with Russia beyond 2024 in order to earn gas transport fees “as long as possible.”
“As a transatlantic partner, we stand firmly on Ukraine’s side,” said Heiko Maas, German Foreign Minister.
Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill said the agreement was not enough to protect American allies. Senator Jenny Shahin, a Democratic Senator from New Hampshire, said: “I still don’t believe that this agreement — or any bilateral agreement — can adequately provide assurance to our European allies and bring about the significant economic impact of the completion of this pipeline And safety impact to a minimum.”
When the United States and Germany issued a joint statement to promote their agreement, Ukrainian officials reacted fiercely. Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said on Twitter that the country will start consultations with the European Union and Germany on the legality of the pipeline. “The instructions 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 security threats of the Beixi 2 project to Ukraine and the region will continue.” Bye The government announced. Just a few hours before the pipeline agreement was signed.
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.
The foreign ministers of Ukraine and Poland issued statements calling on the United States and Germany to “fully resolve the security crisis in our region, and Russia is the only beneficiary.”
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 has stated that he disagrees with Merkel’s merits of this pipeline, but his government has to accept Almost done By the time he took office in January.
On Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that Biden had made it “very clear” to Merkel 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 bad deal for Ukraine. The deal is also a bad deal for Europe and Europe’s broader energy security goals,” Price told reporters.
A State Department official argued that the Biden administration had approved more companies related to the project than the Trump administration. 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 and Erika Solomon