The deal between the US and Germany over the controversial Nord Stream 2 project will have absolutely no effect on the construction of the gas pipeline and isn’t even legally binding for the two signatories, let alone for Russia.
That’s according to Sergey Nechayev, the Russian ambassador to Berlin, who also noted that the completion of the gas project is just weeks away.
“Firstly, it’s important to clarify the terminology. The US and Germany did not make an ‘agreement’ on Nord Stream 2. They released a joint statement, which is not a legally binding document for the signatories,” Nechayev explained.
“And it certainly carries no obligations for Russia.”
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Because of that, the deal between Berlin and Washington will “affect the pace of construction,” and the pipeline will be completed soon, he explained.
Once finished, Nord Stream 2 will connect Germany directly to Russia via the Baltic Sea, allowing Moscow to send gas without transiting other countries. Berlin’s aim is to protect its energy security and make the process less reliant on third parties, thereby lowering the price. The Americans have consistently opposed the project, despite the fact that the Germans are their most important ally in Europe.
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Last month, the US and Germany struck a deal that would see the Americans drop their opposition to the pipeline in exchange for Berlin promising extensive investment in Ukraine. Germany also pledged to push Russia to extend the current gas arrangement with Ukraine, which provides Kiev with $3 billion in annual transit fees.
The construction of Nord Stream 2 has been hindered by US sanctions, with Washington imposing numerous packages of measures against companies involved in the building, maintenance, insurance, and certification of the project. The American authorities have claimed that its completion would “undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability.” However, some have accused the US of opposing the pipeline for economic reasons, as the country looks to increase its exports of liquefied natural gas to the continent.
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