U.S. Reaches Deal With Germany Over Russian Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

U.S. Reaches Deal With Germany Over Russian Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

21/07 - 16:13 - Agreement allows completion of the project, benefiting Germany and Russia, over opposition from Ukraine

The U.S. and Germany detailed an agreement allowing the completion of a controversial Russian natural-gas pipeline, the State Department said Wednesday, giving Germany a long-sought victory on energy supplies while limiting concessions to the U.S. and Ukraine.

The deal gives Germany long-sought access to expanded energy supplies and allows Russia to double its deliveries of natural gas directly to Germany, bypassing an existing route through Ukraine, which has opposed the pipeline.

The benefits of the deal to the U.S. and Ukraine are less tangible, with U.S. and German officials agreeing to assist Kyiv in energy-related projects and diplomatic initiatives. A U.S. request for a so-called kill-switch clause, enabling Berlin to suspend gas flows in the event of Russian aggression toward its neighbors or Western allies, wasn’t included, officials said.

U.S. officials under two previous presidential administrations opposed Nord Stream 2, seeing it as a way for Moscow to heighten its economic and political sway across Europe and trying to stop the project through international pressure and sanctions.

President Biden, seeking closer ties with Europe and with Berlin in particular, took a different approach. While still opposing the pipeline, his administration said it was too far along to prevent its completion.

Germany has pledged to appoint a special envoy to assist Ukraine in negotiating an extension of its transit deal with Russia, which ends in 2024.

Germany also has committed about $175 million for a green fund for Ukraine, promoting renewable energy. As part of the agreement, Germany will also provide about $70 million to promote Ukraine’s energy security.

Earlier Wednesday, the White House said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would visit Mr. Biden in Washington on Aug. 30.