Germany, US strike Nord Stream 2 compromise deal

World Thursday 22/July/2021 06:54 AM
By: DW
Germany, US strike Nord Stream 2 compromise deal
The pipeline is nearly complete despite the threat of US sanctions

Berlin: The US and Germany have struck a compromise over the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, according to a joint statement released by both nations on Wednesday.

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.

What is the US-Germany compromise on Nord Stream 2?

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 Kyiv extend a gas transit agreement.

Additionally, Germany and the US would invest $1 billion (€0.85 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.

What were the reactions to the compromise?

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas heralded 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.