Much-needed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline won't happen if Russia invades Ukraine, says US


The US has threatened to sanction the much-needed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine. The line would run from Russia to Germany, providing fuel to Western Europe, but on Thursday 27 January officials in Berlin said the project could be halted in the case of invasion.
Western allies of Ukraine have said they will target Russia’s economy and place heavy sanctions upon the country if it makes a move into Ukrainian territory. The latest comments seem to solidify their stance on the lucrative pipeline.
Russia has denied planning an attack on its former state but the build-up of Soviet troops along the border has stoked tensions and increased fears of invasion.
“I want to be very clear: if Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,” US state department spokesman Ned Price told NPR.
But he added that he was “not going to get into the specifics” of how it would be stopped, and questions remain over whether the US would have the power to cancel the project.
“We will work with Germany to ensure it does not move forward,” Mr Price said.
While the US is firm in its commitment to stopping the project entirely, Germany would only say would not rule out imposing sanctions on Nord Stream 2. The country’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, told parliament that Western allies were “working on a strong package of sanctions” covering aspects “including Nord Stream 2”.
But she added that she would prefer to “continue the dialogue” with Moscow, as reported by BBC News.
Her comments came after the German ambassador to the US Emily Haber tweeted that “nothing will be off the table, including Nord Stream 2” if Russia violated “Ukraine’s sovereignty”.
The threats over Nord Stream 2 followed a day of diplomatic manoeuvring on Wednesday 26 January. The US rejected Russia’s key demand to bar Ukraine from joining the Nato military alliance while offering Moscow a “serious diplomatic path forward”.
President Vladimir Putin is currently assessing the proposals, his spokesman said.

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Claire Gordon

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