WASHINGTON, June 11. /TASS/. The US Department of State claims that the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is Russia’s geopolitical project.
"We view it as a Russian geopolitical project, a project that threatens European energy security, and in fact, that undermines the security of some of our close partners, including Ukraine and other countries on NATO’s eastern flank," Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price said.
In February, he admitted that Washington opposed the project only for geopolitical reasons.
Also, the diplomat confirmed that Washington and Berlin still disagree about the issue on the eve of the planned meeting between US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the G7 summit in the United Kingdom.
"Of course, President Biden will have an opportunity to meet with Chancellor Merkel and to review our close and deep relationship with Germany. But any relationship as important and as expansive as this one is going to have areas of disagreement, and this is one of them," he said.
Washington openly opposes the Nord Stream 2 construction and is engaged in active efforts to halt the project to primarily deal a blow to Moscow’s interests and provide support to Ukraine as a country that is used to transit Russia’s natural gas to Europe. Moreover, many experts point out that the US is seeking to convince Europe to purchase its LNG which is much more expensive than the natural gas that Russia delivers via pipelines. In the past few years, the United States adopted a series of legislative acts that pave the way for unilateral sanctions, including on companies involved in the project.
The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction of two pipeline strings with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The pipeline’s construction was suspended at the end of 2019 when the Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas stopped work due to Washington’s sanctions. However, work resumed in December 2020 after a year-long pause. The new pipeline will double the capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline currently in operation, following largely the same route.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on May 19 that Washington ditched the idea of imposing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 operator, Nord Stream 2 AG, and the company’s Chief Executive Officer Matthias Warnig. In his words, this decision corresponds to the national interests of the United States.
At the same time, Washington decided to impose sanctions on Russian participants in the project. Gazprom is the only shareholder of Nord Stream 2 AG.