The U.S. position on Nord Stream 2 has not changed, and Washington has been "very clear" about it, said State Department's spokesperson Ned Price.
"And that is that we are opposed to the pipeline, that we view it as a Russian geopolitical project, a project that threatens European energy security, and in fact, that undermines the security of some of our close partners, including Ukraine and other countries on NATO's eastern flank," the spokesperson told a briefing on Thursday.
"Our goal in all of this remains to ensure that Russia cannot use energy as a coercive tool against Ukraine or anyone else in the region. And this position is precisely why even in recent weeks the United States imposed sanctions on four Russian entities engaged in sanctionable activities under our legislation and listed four vessels as blocked property. We will continue to take action as appropriate against entities and individuals engaged in sanctionable activity to demonstrate our continued opposition to this pipeline," said Price.
The State Department officials noted that the U.S. maintains close relations with Germany, which is important for the country.
Read alsoUkraine's Foreign Minister: Ukraine doubts Russia will abide by Nord Stream 2 agreements"In every conversation that I’m aware of between senior State Department officials, Nord Stream 2 and our opposition to it has been a feature in it. And of course, President Biden will have an opportunity to meet with Chancellor Merkel and to review our close and deep relationship with Germany," said Price. "But any relationship as important and as expansive as this one is going to have areas of disagreement, and this is one of them."
- On June 10, first reports came of the NS2 operator completing the first string of the new pipeline. The maritime sections of the line laid along the Baltic Sea bottom between Russia and Germany have been connected.
- From June 11, works are starting to prepare the pipe for the launch.
- The entire project of a gas transit pipeline bypassing Ukraine is 90% complete although the initial deadline had been set for 2019.
- The U.S. has imposed a number of sanctions on the project and repeatedly called on EU partners and private companies to halt works on pipe construction. At the same time, the U.S. stopped short of sanctioning the pipeline operator, Nord Stream 2 AG, and its chief Matthias Warnig. State Secretary Anthony Blinken said dropping such sanctions is in line with U.S. national interests.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia, once NS2 is launched, will do its best to not extend the current contract for gas transit via Ukraine.