The United States said it is about to reach an agreement with Germany to resolve the long-standing dispute over the Beixi 2 pipeline, including a promise to punish Moscow if it uses energy as a weapon against neighboring countries.
The possible agreement is in Bilateral meetings At the White House last week, US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks.
“The Germans have made useful suggestions. We have been able to make progress on the steps to achieve this common goal. Again, this common goal is to ensure that Russia cannot weaponize energy flows,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price Briefing on Tuesday.
He added: “We don’t have any final details to announce, but I hope we can say more soon.”
The North Stream pipeline connecting Russia and Germany has long been a sore spot between Washington and Berlin.U.S. officials believe Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical project While jeopardizing the security of Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland and Ukraine, Europe continues to rely on Russian energy.
According to the anticipated agreement between the Biden government and the German government first reported by Reuters, if Moscow’s energy policy endangers US allies in the region, Berlin will promise to threaten sanctions against Russia. U.S. officials have been negotiating with Warsaw and Kiev while negotiating the agreement with Germany.
According to a person close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine is still “resolutely opposed” to the pipeline. The person familiar with the matter said that the Biden administration “has made it clear that any strong public opposition to their deal with Germany will have a very negative impact on U.S.-Ukraine relations.”
A possible deal with Germany comes as Biden is trying to mend transatlantic relations after Donald Trump’s turbulent four years in power, which has strained relations with the capitals of many European countries.
Biden’s move to impose new sanctions on Russians associated with the Beixi 2 pipeline earlier this year—while abandoning punitive measures against European pipeline operators—opened the door to upcoming negotiations.
Biden has stated that he still disagrees with Merkel’s merits of this pipeline, but his government has to admit that by the time he took office in January, it had almost been completed.
Biden said last week: “Based on whether Russia is trying to blackmail Ukraine in some way, it makes more sense to work with the prime minister to find out how she will proceed.”
Additional report by Roman Olearchyk