The United States and Germany have reached an agreement on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, said US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland. TASS… Details are to be released on July 21 in the coming hours, she explained.
“Today we will publish the agreement that we have reached with the German government. I can provide you with a number of details here, ”Nuland said during a speech before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the Congress.
Under the terms of the agreement, Germany will be obliged to seek the extension of the current contract for the transit of Russian gas through the territory of Ukraine. The current agreement was concluded at the end of December 2019 and is designed for five years. It replaced a 10-year contract that was expiring at that time. At the same time, a new participant appeared in the scheme – the Operator of the Gas Transportation System (OGTS) of Ukraine, independent of Naftogaz of Ukraine. The latter bears price risks due to possible changes in the transit tariff. This scheme provides fixed payments for Gazprom, which paid directly to Naftogaz from 2009 to 2019.
In 2024, when the agreement expires, Berlin will have to do its best to extend it for at least 10 years. Thus, Gazprom will not be able to completely abandon Ukrainian transit and replace it with two branches of the Nord Stream. It is not known whether the transit volume will be revised in the future. The current agreement provides for the pumping of 40 billion cubic meters of fuel through the territory of Ukraine annually (in 2020, the first year of the agreement, there were 65 billion cubic meters).
In addition, Germany will seek sanctions against Russia if it begins to use energy resources for economic and political pressure on other countries. What exactly will be regarded as pressure has not yet been disclosed. However, it is known that restrictions on the export of gas and other types of Russian fuel to Europe can be imposed as a punishment. Washington will also be able to apply its own sanctions.
Finally, Germany and the United States will work together to help Ukraine ensure energy security and diversify its suppliers. In addition to independence from the decisions of the Russian authorities, security implies leveling the consequences of the transition of European countries to alternative energy sources, which will reduce their need for fossil fuels. It is expected that the two countries will provide funding to Kiev for these purposes, the amount of which is also not disclosed. According to some reports, it could amount to a billion dollars.
On July 19, Reuters reported that Washington and Berlin are close to concluding an agreement on Nord Stream 2. The agreement follows the US waiver of sanctions against European participants in the project, in particular, the Nord Stream 2 AG gas pipeline operator registered in Switzerland and wholly owned by Gazprom. In May, US President Joe Biden explained the waiver of further sanctions on the basis of further strategic cooperation with the EU.
will have to draw up the term for a new contract on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine, which, according to the terms of the agreement, Germany will have to seek
On July 20, the US State Department acknowledged that US sanctions had failed to prevent the construction of Nord Stream 2. According to a representative of the department, American diplomats discussed the construction of a gas pipeline with Germany, Ukraine and Poland and other countries that may “suffer” from the launch of the gas pipeline. At the same time, according to media reports, the US presidential administration urged Kiev to “keep quiet” and not express dissatisfaction over the deal with Germany on the project. Previously, it was the US sanctions that delayed the launch of Nord Stream 2, which was originally scheduled for late 2019.
Some American politicians have already reacted to the deal. Senator from the Republican Party, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee Ted Cruz, even before the official announcement of the agreement, called them a “geopolitical victory [президента России Владимира] Putin for a generation ahead and a disaster for the United States and our allies. ” Biden, in his opinion, disregards national laws and “completely surrendered to Putin,” and Europe will continue to be subjected to energy blackmail from Russia.