U.S. State Department officials have denied negotiating an additional informal agreement with Germany to end the Nord Stream 2 project, Axios reported, citing sources.
Axios points out that earlier in the week a briefing was held in the U.S., which was attended by representatives of the State Department and Congress. Molly Montgomery, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said at the briefing that the U.S. was not discussing an additional deal with Germany.
The U.S. will inspect the activities of the company that withdrew from Nord Stream 2
Earlier Ulrike Demmer, the deputy spokeswoman of the Cabinet of the Federal Republic of Germany stated that the German authorities were in permanent contact with the US counterparts regarding the Nord Stream 2 project. She added that this is often an “exchange of opinions.
State Department officials said, according to Axios, that the word “exchange” should not be understood to mean negotiations. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has expressed its concerns about the pipeline construction to Germany in diplomatic conversations, Axios wrote.
According to the newspaper, the discussion on Nord Stream 2 was tense, with the parties periodically arguing. For example, a member of the Senate and a Republican asked representatives of the Biden administration why sanctions have not yet been imposed on Nord Stream 2 AG, “the company that owns Nord Stream 2.”
In response, State Department officials said that it takes a long time to determine against whom or what to impose sanctions.
“Nord Stream 2” involves the construction of two strands of the pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The project is actively opposed by the U.S., which promotes its liquefied natural gas to the EU, as well as Ukraine and a number of European countries. The U.S. imposed sanctions against the pipeline in December 2019, forcing Switzerland’s Allseas to halt the laying.
The Russian Federation has repeatedly stated that the project is commercial and beneficial to Europe. Germany is in favor of completing the pipeline and rejects unilateral extraterritorial U.S. sanctions.