US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that despite disagreements over the Nord Stream 2 project, America and Germany remain allies. Earlier, the diplomat informed German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas about possible sanctions against German companies that are involved in the construction of the gas pipeline. At the same time, Joe Biden stressed at the virtual summit of the European Council that Washington needs a strong European Union to solve common problems, including with respect to Russia and China. However, experts note that Washington understands transatlantic cooperation as Europe’s unconditional adherence to the American course.
“First of all, it is important here that Germany is one of our closest allies and partners in the world, and the fact that we have disagreements on Nord Stream 2 – real disagreements – does not and will not affect our relations in the future. and partnership in general, ”Blinken said in an interview with Euronews.
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At the same time, he did not fail to criticize the Russian gas pipeline project once again.
“At the same time, we made it clear, President Biden made it clear that he considers Nord Stream 2 a bad idea and a bad deal for Europe, for us and for the alliance. It undermines the basic principles of the EU in the field of energy security and energy independence, and also poses a problem for Ukraine, Poland and other countries that we are not indifferent to, ”Blinken said.
According to the American diplomat, he has already presented this point of view to his colleague, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and noted that there are laws in the United States that require the imposition of sanctions against companies participating in the construction of the gas pipeline. According to Anthony Blinken, he wanted to make sure that Washington’s partners understand his position on this issue.
Earlier, after meeting with Maas on the sidelines of the meeting of the foreign ministers of NATO countries, Blinken said that they had failed to resolve the differences over the construction of the gas pipeline and he warned his counterpart about the threat of sanctions against German companies.
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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken
© Frederic J. Brown
In turn, US President Joe Biden addressed the participants of the European Council summit via video link and said that Washington seeks to interact with Europe.
“He made it clear that a strong European Union is in the interests of the United States, and also noted our common democratic values and the world’s largest trade and investment partnership,” the White House website said in a statement.
Biden also called on the Europeans to work together on the issue of Russia and China.
“He called for close collaboration on common challenges, including … strengthening our economic ties and making sure that the rules of the game are set by democracies, not autocracies. The President also expressed his desire to work together on issues of common interest in the foreign policy sphere, including Russia and China, ”the message says.
Recall that in February a special session of the Munich Security Conference was held, during which Biden accused the Russian authorities of allegedly seeking to destroy transatlantic cooperation.
“Putin seeks to weaken the European project and the NATO alliance. He wants to undermine transatlantic unity and our resolve, because it is much easier for the Kremlin to intimidate and threaten individual states than to negotiate with a strong and closely knit transatlantic community, ”Biden said.
According to experts, the 46th President of the United States is trying to establish himself as an influential politician capable of uniting not only the United States, but the entire West.
“Undoubtedly, he will declare that the free Western democratic world is allegedly threatened by revanchist, revisionist powers like Russia and China, and accordingly, it is necessary to fight them. All this activity will be carried out ostensibly in the name of Euro-Atlantic solidarity, but in fact – for lobbying the interests of the United States, ”said Konstantin Blokhin, a leading researcher at the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in an interview with RT.
Let us remind you that the United States, with the support of Poland and Ukraine, is actively trying to prevent the implementation of Nord Stream 2. This energy project consists of two gas pipeline lines with a length of more than 1.2 thousand kilometers each with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. m per year. The pipes run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries: Russia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Germany.
At the same time, Germany does not agree with the US position on JV – 2 – the government of Angela Merkel is in favor of completing the construction of the gas pipeline and against unilateral extraterritorial sanctions from Washington.
The expert community, as well as Russian officials, have repeatedly pointed out that the United States, using unfair competition methods, is thus trying to lobby for the supply of American liquefied gas, which is much more expensive than Russian gas, to the European market.
Onshore facilities of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Lubmin, Germany
© Ekaterina Solovieva
To this end, over the past few years, Congress has adopted a number of legislative initiatives that provided for unilateral sanctions against companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2.
However, despite active opposition from the United States, the project is close to successful completion. Thus, against the backdrop of new statements by the US Secretary of State on Washington’s position on JV-2, Gazprom’s chairman of the board of directors Viktor Zubkov said that the construction of the gas pipeline would be completed this year.
“The work is in full swing, there are very few left. Of course, this year it will be completed, definitely. It is a pity for the lost time, but it turned out that way, ”Zubkov noted.
According to the chairman of the board of directors of the Russian gas monopoly, the pipeline is now over 90% ready. Viktor Zubkov also added that the completion of the project does not yet imply a revision of existing contracts with Ukraine.
Commenting on the statements of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, head of the Department of International Organizations and World Political Processes at the Faculty of World Politics at Moscow State University, Andrei Sidorov, noted that Nord Stream 2 has long ceased to be an exclusively commercial project.
“Biden uses the pipeline theme whenever possible to demonstrate its importance in this process, Europe – to show its independence in economic matters,” says Sidorov.
As for cooperation with the European Union, which the United States is constantly talking about, it, according to Sidorov, assumes, first of all, that Brussels should follow Washington’s lead without deviations.
“By pursuing a similar policy towards the EU, the American administration is trying to make sure that they prove their partnership by curtailing Nord Stream 2,” the political scientist explained.
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He recalled that a similar situation in transatlantic relations was observed in the 1990s, when Congress passed the Helms-Burton Act, which provides for sanctions against foreign companies trading with Havana. Then Europe was able to defend its position, the expert noted. Now the White House, through the prism of attitudes towards the Russian gas pipeline, is “testing the Europeans for strength” in order to further use them to put pressure on their geopolitical opponents, Sidorov said.
“If now Europe follows the lead of the Biden administration, yields to it, then further steps will follow with regard to China, which has become the main trading partner of the EU. In addition, it will demonstrate that Germany does not actually have sovereignty, cannot protect the commercial interests of its companies, ”the political scientist argues.
Biden constantly emphasizes that Euro-Atlantic solidarity is necessary to restore relations with European partners, but at the same time he intends to achieve US dominance in these relations, Sidorov said.
“It can be expected that under the Biden administration, the United States will dictate its terms to Europe,” the expert concluded.
Source site russian.rt.com