The United States and Germany have announced an agreement to allow the completion of a controversial Russian gas pipeline to Europe without new sanctions.
The agreement aims to allay fears about Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.
However, critics have said the deal does not go far enough.
US officials had opposed the plan, which would allow Russia to export gas directly to Germany and potentially cut off other countries.
But under the terms of the agreement, the we and Germany has pledged to impose costs on Russia to prevent it from using the $ 11 billion (£ 8 billion) Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a political weapon.
They also agreed to support Ukraine and Poland – both of whom are bypassed by the project and fear Russiaintentions of – by financing alternative energy and development projects.
“The United States and Germany are united in their determination to hold Russia accountable for its aggression and malicious activities by imposing costs through sanctions and other tools,” they said in a joint statement.
“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 push for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions,” to limit Russia’s export capacities to Europe in the energy sector. , “It said.
The Nord Stream 2 project posed a major foreign policy dilemma for the Biden administration.
U.S. officials on both sides have long feared this would give Russia too much power over European gas supplies, potentially cutting off gas to Ukraine and Poland.
But the pipeline is 98% complete and the United States is determined to reconnect with Germany that was damaged during the Trump administration.
As a nod to Poland, Germany has also agreed to sign the “Three Seas Initiative”, a program promoted by the EU and the United States that aims to boost investment, infrastructure development and energy security between the countries bordering the Baltic, Black and Adriatic seas. .
Despite the deal, there remains strong bipartisan opposition to the pipeline in Congress, as well as in Ukraine and Poland.