The current US administration considers the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline essentially a fait accompli and is therefore now in talks with German authorities on possible next steps regarding Russia’s natural gas exports to Europe and Ukraine’s interests. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Monday
“In practical terms, the physical completion of the pipeline was, I think, a fait accompli”, – the US diplomatic chief said, speaking at a hearing before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. – “Now Germany has come to the table. And we are actively engaging with it to explore what can and, in my view, should be done to ensure that the transit fees that Ukraine might lose at some point in the future as a result of this pipeline bypassing Ukraine can be maintained. That Russia’s ability to use gas as an instrument of coercion or a weapon against Ukraine or anybody else is removed. There are ways to achieve this.”
He also warned that the US potentially retains the ability to reconsider its decision not to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.
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“This exemption (from applying sanctions) could be withdrawn”, – the US foreign policy chief said.