US says Russian gas line to Germany will be blocked if war breaks out

The United States and Germany are increasingly warning Moscow that natural gas will not flow through a major new pipeline from Russia to Germany if Russia invades Ukraine.

“If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a daily news conference on Thursday, referring to to the pipeline.

Mr. Price’s language about the $11 billion pipeline project – which has been built but has not yet received approval from German regulators to operate – is more definitive than that of German officials.

A day earlier, Germany’s ambassador to Washington, Emily Haber, had posted a tweet saying that if Russia violated Ukraine’s sovereignty, it “will pay a very heavy price”. Add that “There will be nothing to discuss, not even Nord Stream 2.”

But Mr. Price hinted that Germany had let Washington know its intentions.

“We have had extensive consultations at all levels with our German allies,” he told reporters. “I won’t go into specifics here today, but we will work with Germany to ensure that the pipeline doesn’t move forward.”

The pipeline runs from Russia under the Baltic Sea into Germany, providing Russia with an alternative to the existing pipeline running through Ukraine, collecting billions of dollars in annual transportation fees.

The Nord Stream project has become a divisive issue in Congress, where Republicans insist that President Biden block the project from going live with sanctions against German business. Mr. Biden resisted that step because of Germany’s importance as an ally of the United States.

Some analysts warn that the pipeline has caught Washington’s attention more than it’s worth. They say that a number of other pipelines from Russia allow Putin to make lucrative gas sales to Europe, including Nord Stream 1, and therefore, since Nord Stream 2 is not yet operational, Mr. No current revenue is at stake.

“Its importance in the current conflict is completely overstated,” said Kadri Liik, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, speak at an event on Thursday organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“Putin may want Nord Stream 2 but he doesn’t want it too much – he certainly wants Ukraine more than that pipeline,” added Ms Liik. “So it’s not something you can use to stop Putin.”

The United States is working with allies to ensure that Europe’s natural gas supplies do not become collateral damage in the conflict – likely caused by a move by Mr. granted in response to Western sanctions on his country if he chooses to invade Ukraine.

In a joint statement on Friday, Mr. Biden and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said the United States and the European Union were working together to secure supplies of natural gas to Europe. Europe “from different sources globally to avoid supply shocks, including those that could result from a further Russian invasion of Ukraine. “ US says Russian gas line to Germany will be blocked if war breaks out

Fry Electronics Team

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