Germany, meanwhile, said the project could be subject to sanctions if attacked by Russia.
Westerners, who have been saying for weeks that they will target the Russian economy in the event of an attack on Ukraine, “toughen their position on the lucrative gas pipeline” Nord Stream 2, linking Russia to Germany, summarizes the BBC.
The United States assured, Thursday, January 27, that its commissioning would be blocked if Russia were to invade the country. “I want to be clear with you today: if Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not go ahead”, warned the number three of American diplomacy, Victoria Nuland.
Berlin, for its part, has only declared that it does not rule out hitting the project with sanctions. Western allies “are working on a set of strong sanctions” covering aspects “including Nord Stream 2”, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told the Bundestag on Thursday. She added that she preferred “continue the dialogue” with Moscow.
“Change of major tone”
However, this is a “change of major tone” because, “For years”, the German government presents the gas pipeline “as a private and apolitical commercial project”, analyzes Damien McGuinness, the Berlin correspondent of the British channel. “The Russian military build-up on the Ukraine border achieved what years of American pressure never could: it got Germany to redesign Nord Stream 2”, deciphers the journalist.
The construction of the 1,225 km gas pipeline, designed to double Russian gas exports to Germany, took five years and cost 11 billion dollars, recalls the BBC. It has not started operating yet, as regulators said in November that it did not comply with German law and suspended its approval.
Europe looks to Washington for gas
“This is the first time that Europe has considered targeting a sector on which it depends for 40% of its gas imports”, lift him up Financial Times, which evokes for its part sanctions in preparation of the United Kingdom and the European Union against “new Russian gas projects” if the Kremlin ordered an attack on Ukraine.
As the Kremlin threatens Kiev, “Europeans are scrambling to secure their gas supply and have looked to the United States for relief sources beyond Moscow’s control”, reports for its part Wall Street Journal. “In recent weeks, while Russia has positioned more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, US energy officialsEU met their American counterparts and flew to gas producers, including Azerbaijan and Qatar.”
Growing tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border “raise fears that Europe’s gas supply crisis does not get worse”, with a guard The Guardian. On the mainland, prices have already broken records “and threaten to impose a cost of living crisis on households”.