MOSCOW, February 21 – RIA Novosti. The current American administration would like to return to close cooperation with Germany, but the stumbling block in relations between Washington and Berlin is Nord Stream 2, writes the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Earlier it became known that German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the issue of Nord Stream 2 during a telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden on the occasion of his inauguration.
According to the author of the article, Biden, “exchanging pleasantries” with Merkel, “threatens the consensus” between Democrats and Republicans on the gas pipeline project from Russia to Germany. The publication recalls a letter sent by two senators to the US President, in which they urge not to abandon the tough policy of the Trump administration on the issue of “Nord Stream 2”. In addition, it is not yet clear what the concession of the US President may be, given Berlin's adamant position regarding the fate of the gas pipeline, the newspaper notes.
This describes the dilemma Biden faced, the author of the material emphasizes. The pipeline has long been the subject of controversy between Germany and the United States. Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made it clear that they care about improving relations with their allies, and above all with Berlin. However, the example of Nord Stream 2 shows how difficult it is in practice to “switch the lever,” the article says.
Nevertheless, according to the author of the material, Germany in any case should use the chance for a partnership with the United States that appeared after the era of Trump's “rudeness”, but success will largely depend on whether the Germans can make an “interesting offer” to Biden.
According to the Handelsblatt newspaper, the United States is considering the possibility of a temporary shutdown of the pipeline as a compromise if the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine is restricted. Such a proposal, the newspaper claims, should come from Berlin.
Nord Stream 2 envisages the construction of two strings of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The project is actively opposed by the United States, which is promoting its liquefied natural gas to the EU, as well as Ukraine and a number of European countries. The states imposed sanctions on the gas pipeline in December 2019, as a result of which the Swiss Allseas was forced to stop laying. The Russian Federation has repeatedly stated that this project is commercial and beneficial to Europe. Germany is in favor of completing the gas pipeline and rejects unilateral extraterritorial US sanctions.