The German government’s hopes for an agreement with the US on the NS2 gas pipeline have been further undermined. The Biden administration is “determined to use all available means to prevent the completion of Nord Stream 2”, a spokesman for the US embassy in Berlin told the “Der Tagesspiegel” newspaper.
US embassy spokesman Joseph Giordono-Scholz also said in a statement to the “Der Tagesspiegel”: “We will continue to register any organisations involved in potentially sanctionable activities and have made it clear that any company risks sanctions if it takes part in (the construction of) Nord Stream 2”.
Both President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have called for a halt to construction of the pipeline. “This is a geopolitical project by Russia that may jeopardize the energy security of Europe, as well as of Ukraine and eastern NATO partners,” an embassy spokesman said. This judgement “is shared by some of our European partners and even some serious voices in Germany,” he stressed.
“According to US media reports, German representatives are probing in Washington whether concessions on trade issues, or an offer of German investment in renewable energy in the EU and Ukraine, could appease the US side. The State Department did not give details when asked about possible offers or settlements”, writes “Der Tagesspiegel”.
According to the newspaper, possible offers from the German side to the US government in the pipeline dispute include, for example, “German investment in the development of hydrogen technology in Ukraine. This is to make it easier for Ukraine, which currently earns its income from the transit of Russian gas, to transition into the era of renewable energy”.
During a recent visit to Berlin, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Olga Stefanishina declared that the development of renewable energy is her country’s main goal.
The German government’s chances in its dispute with Washington are also significantly complicated by the expansion of Russia’s military forces at Ukraine’s doorstep. “The United States is increasingly concerned about Russia’s mounting aggression in eastern Ukraine, especially the troop movements along the country’s border,” Giordono-Scholz said.
“Der Tagesspiegel” points out that “in defending the project, the German government has begun to accuse its US partner of double standards in its relations with Russia. For example, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas criticised the US in a debate on Nord Stream 2 in the Bundestag in mid-February.”
“There are countries that ask us to stop construction work (on NS II), even though they themselves are at the same time increasing heavy oil transport or imports from Russia,” Maas said. The allegations are based on official US data, according to which the volume of Russian oil supplies to the country is growing year on year and Russia now ranks third among oil suppliers to the US.
“According to independent calculations, the share of Russian supplies in meeting US oil demand has been less than 0.5 percent for many years, but it has increased in the past decade and reached a record 7 percent last year,” writes “Der Tagesspiegel.”