The head of the Ministry of Finance of the Federal Republic of Germany Olaf Scholz offered the Donald Trump administration a deal: to lift sanctions on Nord Stream 2 in exchange for help in importing liquefied natural gas from the United States, Deutsche Welle writes.
Environmentalists condemned the “buyback” of the gas pipeline. The German authorities have not yet commented on these messages.
The German environmental non-governmental organization Environmental Action Germany announced an attempt to “save” the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from US sanctions. According to Deutsche Welle, citing EAG data, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz offered a compromise to the administration of US President Donald Trump.
Berlin was ready to allocate up to 1 billion euros to Washington and help with the import of American LNG in exchange for “effective and adequate” blocking of sanctions against SP-2.
German environmentalists are outraged by this deal. In addition, a number of opposition politicians expressed their disagreement with such a deal, since “taxpayers’ money will go to it.”
The Ministry of Finance of the Federal Republic of Germany has not yet commented on this information, but is preparing an official statement in connection with the current situation.
In early February, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported that US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had discussed the Nord Stream 2 issue. Washington sees the possibility of a “compromise” – to temporarily shut off the pipeline if Russia restricts gas transit through Ukraine. According to Merkel, although Nord Stream 2 is a business project, the pipeline is politically important and “plays an important role in the transatlantic region.”
Russia expects that the European Union will withstand the US blackmail on Nord Stream 2, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on January 27. The department noted that the implementation of this project will objectively strengthen the interconnection between Moscow and Brussels in the economic sphere and will contribute to energy security in Europe. They also noted that Washington’s goal is to promote “expensive and non-environmental shale gas” in Europe.
On January 28, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas assured that with the coming to power of the new administration in the United States, Germany would not change its position on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. He added that the principled position of Berlin on this issue remains unchanged. Washington needs to consider whether sanctions and penalties are the right tool for talking to allies.
On the same day, the State Duma Committee on Energy and the Bundestag Committee on Economics and Energy agreed to jointly oppose attempts to stop the implementation of Sevpotok-2. The head of the Duma committee, Pavel Zavalny, noted that there is no pressure on the participants in the construction of the gas pipeline, but the new US administration has already announced its intention to stop the implementation of the project.
According to the deputy, the common position of the Russian and European sides is that Nord Stream 2 should be completed and that both Germany and Europe need it.
On February 2, a spokesman for the US State Department warned that the US would monitor the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project and its certification. He recalled the statement by the country’s President Joe Biden that the gas pipeline is a “bad deal” for Europe.
According to the position of the department, Washington may impose new sanctions against this project.