Although the State Department does not rule out new restrictive measures, the new administration’s rhetoric about Nord Stream-2 is clearly different from that of Donald Trump.
The United States made it clear that the sanctions could be lifted if Germany can allay American concerns about Nord Stream-2. As the publication “Handelsblatt” writes, referring to its own sources, this is what the German government is doing now.
“We will monitor the construction and certification of the gas pipeline. If this happens, then we will decide on the possibility of sanctions”, – this is how the head of the US State Department, Tony Blinken, reacted to the resumption of the construction of Nord Stream-2.
There is really little positive in the statement for the beneficiaries of the energy project, writes Handelsblatt. On the other hand, Blinken’s words don’t tell the whole story. For the United States, sanctions always remain an instrument of foreign policy pressure. At the same time, Washington’s overall tone is clearly softening.
If Trump went on a course of confrontation, then Biden prefers compromise. Bundestag member Thomas Bareis notes that Washington, first of all, needs “a clear commitment to a joint security policy”. Berlin needs to maintain cooperation with Russia without provoking the United States.
Against this backdrop, the German authorities are discussing ways to allay American concerns about Nord Stream-2. Although no concrete proposals have yet been presented, Berlin may develop some kind of “shutdown mechanism”. That is, in Germany they will create technical and legal conditions in order to freeze the operation of the new gas pipeline in case of emergency.
The mechanism can be activated, for example, in the event of a reduction in gas transit through Ukraine. True, Berlin does not want to reduce the procedure to automatism so that gas supplies to Germany would not depend on the Ukrainian government controlled by Washington. Instead, the German authorities are ready to voice guarantees that Nord Stream 2 will be blocked if Russia uses gas supplies as a weapon.“Fight” against corruption: Ukraine announces creation of a portal for reporting bribery