The US advised the Ukrainian authorities not to criticize the upcoming gas pipeline deal with Germany. Otherwise, relations between Washington and Kiev may worsen
The United States has secretly asked representatives of the Ukrainian government to refrain from criticizing the upcoming deal with Germany to resolve the dispute over the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. This is reported by Politico with reference to four sources familiar with the negotiations.
The interlocutors of the publication said that Washington has been conducting tense negotiations with Kiev in recent days in connection with the upcoming pipeline deal. They also reported that the Ukrainian authorities “feel neglected”by the United States and Germany.
Despite this, Washington pointed out to Kiev that the condemnation of the upcoming deal could worsen the dialogue between the countries. “US officials have indicated that criticism of the upcoming agreement could damage bilateral relations between Washington and Kiev,” sources told Politico.
In addition, the White House advised the Ukrainian authorities not to discuss the agreement that Germany and the United States should conclude with their supporters in the American Congress.
The Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline was planned to be completed at the end of 2019; Russian fuel should flow through it to Germany and further to Europe along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. However, due to US sanctions, the implementation of the project stalled at the final stage. Now the first line of the pipe has been completed: Matthias Warnig, executive director of the Nord Stream 2 AG project operator, reported that all work will be completed in August 2021.
The administration of the previous US President Donald Trump believed that “Nord Stream-2” threatens the energy security of Europe and will serve as a political lever for Moscow. In addition, Washington indicated that Kiev would lose transit fees for the transportation of Russian gas.
Germany, in turn, called the restrictions on the part of the United States interference in its domestic policy and stressed the need for Russian fuel.
With the arrival of Biden to power, the rhetoric of the White House has changed. The US State Department has suspended the sanctions against the project participants:they noted that they are ineffective at the final stage of the gas pipeline.
Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks with Biden, during which they discussed, among other things, Nord Stream-2. Following the meeting, the head of the German government noted that Berlin and Washington hold different positions on this project.
Despite this, Germany and the United States came to an agreement in the dispute over the gas pipeline, Western media reported. According to it, the countries, first of all Germany, will have to invest in large energy projects in Ukraine, in particular in the construction of pure hydrogen production, as well as compensate for possible losses of Kiev from the reduction of transit. The Wall Street Journal reported the day before that Washington and Berlin could announce the deal as early as July 21.
In Kiev, they were dissatisfied with the results of the American-German negotiations. The press secretary of the Ukrainian president, Sergei Nikiforov, stressed that it is still unclear exactly how Western partners will ensure that Ukraine retains the transit of Russian gas through its territory.