Leave Ukraine out of Nord Stream 2 choice – Berlin

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Gas pipeline and the political battle are separate points, high official insists

The controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which can convey fuel from Russia to Germany underneath the Baltic Sea, shouldn’t be snarled with ongoing political disputes between Ukraine and Russia, a senior official in Berlin has mentioned.

In an interview with broadcaster rbb on Thursday, protection minister Christine Lambrecht insisted that political variations between Moscow and Kiev mustn’t have a bearing on the pipeline’s operation.

“We should not drag [Nord Stream 2] into this conflict,” she mentioned. “We need to solve this conflict, and we need to solve it in talks – that’s the opportunity that we have at the moment, and we should use it rather than draw a link to projects that have no connection to it.”

Lambrecht’s feedback got here because the US Senate was set to vote Thursday on a bundle of financial sanctions directed towards Nord Stream 2, a invoice pushed by Republican Ted Cruz, however which White House officers have mentioned would intervene with foreign-policy targets if handed. On Wednesday, Democratic Senator Robert Mendendez unveiled a separate legislative proposal, which might punish high Russian officers and banks within the occasion of an invasion of Ukraine, and may very well be another for lawmakers hesitant to help Cruz’s measure.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was accomplished in September, however has but to start operation because of a collection of regulatory hurdles. When operational, it’s going to make it considerably cheaper for Germany to import pure fuel from Russia, doubtlessly slicing out third-party international locations, together with Ukraine, which at present collects transit charges for fuel passing by way of its territory.

On Tuesday, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland advised journalists that Washington continues to be attempting to dam the challenge’s certification. “What we are doing now is working with the Germans, working with the EU to slow their consideration of the implementation of the pipeline,” she mentioned. “This German Government has taken significant steps to do that, and they’ve also reconfirmed the agreement we had with the previous government with regard to what happens to Nord Stream 2 – namely, it’s suspended if Russia aggresses against Ukraine.”

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