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Zelensky says US promises sanctions against Nord Stream 2 if Ukraine has problems

He said it is a "big victory," but the issue still needs further discussion
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky  AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky
© AP Photo/Evan Vucci

KIEV, September 2. /TASS/. The United States will impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2 in case other countries create energy problems for Ukraine, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said on Wednesday after talks with US President US Biden.

"So far, we are at a stage when President Biden personally guarantees that if Russia or other parties to Nord Stream 2 after its commissioning <…> create energy problems to Ukraine, the United States guarantees it will impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2," he told a briefing, which was aired by the Ukraina-24 television channel.

He said it is a "big victory," but the issue still needs further discussion.

According to Zelensky, Ukraine’s position on Nord Stream 2 enjoys serious support in the US Congress.

Nord Stream 2 is an international project for the construction of a gas pipeline that will run across the bottom of the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast to Germany bypassing transit states, such as Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic countries.

The new 1,230-kilometer pipeline, basically following the same route as Nord Stream, traverses the economic zones and territorial water of five countries, namely Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.

Works under the project were suspended in December 2019 after Allseas, a Swiss company laying the pipes for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, suspended pipe-laying works over possible US sanctions and recalled its ships. Works were resumed in December 2020.

On July 21, 2021, the United States and Germany published an agreement on the Nord Stream 2 project, where Washington recognized that sanctions would not stop the project implementation and Berlin undertook to take effort to ensure the extension of Russian gas via Ukraine. The United States however reserved the right to take measures in case Russia, as it put it, uses energy as a geopolitical weapon in Europe and in case of its aggression against Ukraine.

The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that Nord Stream 2 is not a commercial project and is being implemented jointly with European partners. Russian president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov expressed resentment over attempts of a number of countries to link the future of the project to politically-motivated circumstances. Moscow has also repeatedly stressed that it has never used energy resources as an instrument of pressure.