The US Secretary of State, who visited Berlin, said the Russian-German gas pipeline was an instrument of pressure against Russia, and warned that the German foreign minister would pay a “high price” if he attacked Ukraine. The controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Russia with Germany and its completion in September has become another barrier for Western nations against Moscow amid tensions on the Russian border with Ukraine, said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
“It is noteworthy that no gas has flowed through the pipeline yet. The pipeline is a tool of pressure from Germany, the United States and their allies, not Russia, “said Blingen, speaking at a news conference with German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbach in Berlin on Thursday (20/01).
There is no doubt that Moscow considers this fact when considering its next phase of operations, Blinken said, adding that “especially in the event of an aggression against Ukraine, Russia is making strong announcements about the dire consequences it will face.”
Berbach insisted that Moscow would pay a “high price” for the invasion of Ukraine, and that Berlin was in close coordination with the United States on sanctions, including the “energy issue.”
In Nord Stream 2, Barbach cited reports from Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholes this week. Asked about the political implications of the pipeline project, Scholes said on Tuesday that “everything must be discussed if military action is to be taken against Ukraine.” Nothing has changed since then, Fairbags said Thursday.
On Tuesday, Barbach made his first official visit to Moscow and urged a speedy resumption of peace talks on the conflict in Ukraine.
The use of Nord Stream 2 as a tool of restraint is controversial in Germany, and part of Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) argues that the pipeline is an economy rather than a political project.
The pipeline has been a source of disagreement for many years between Germany and its allies. On Thursday, Blingen noted that the United States had long opposed the plan. In July 2021, Berlin and Washington reached an agreement in September to allow the project to be completed without US sanctions.
But in November, Germany suspended its energy regulator pipeline approval process, saying the subsidiary operating the German area had not yet met the conditions for being an “independent transmission operator”.
The pipeline under the Baltic Sea is 1,200 km long and aims to double Russia’s gas supply to Germany. During its construction, Berlin argued that the project was necessary to assist in the transition of energy from fossil fuels and nuclear energy and towards sustainable sources.
Russia has deployed tens of thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border in recent weeks, and increasingly threatening rhetoric has raised fears in the West that Moscow may use military force to thwart Ukraine’s potential NATO members.
Moscow vehemently denies such plans, but Putin has threatened an unspoken “military-technical” response if the West does not take seriously the Kremlin’s set of security demands, including an end to the eastern expansion of the Western military alliance.
Western nations, meanwhile, are threatening Moscow with sanctions if Russian forces invade a neighboring country. On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden called the Russian intervention in Ukraine a “disaster” for Moscow, which would pay a heavy price for invading the country.
On Thursday, the Kremlin responded that Biden’s declaration would not help ease rising tensions and could further destabilize the Ukrainian situation. “We hope that they will not contribute in any way to the current tension in Europe, in addition, they can contribute to the deterioration of the situation,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
bl (AFP, ots)
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