US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington disagreed with Germany on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, calling it a threat to Europe’s energy security, with both countries agreeing to ensure that Russia was a coercive tool against Ukraine or others. as energy cannot be used. states.
Blinken met his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin on 23 June and discussed US-German relations, although there was no sign of progress in talks to resolve the impasse on the pipeline. And neither Blinken nor Maas could offer a timetable for a possible solution.
“We don’t always agree. The Secretary of State and I spoke today about one of those areas of disagreement, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which we believe is a threat to Europe’s energy security,” Blinken said. joint press conference after their meeting.
Maas said Germany is aware that Washington hopes to stop Russia’s misuse of the pipeline, and that his country wants to contribute in this regard.
The foreign minister said that Germany would ensure that there is an alternative gas transit agreement through Ukraine and it would be in place once Nord Stream 2 is operational. He said that talks have started between the two countries on this issue.
Ideally, a resolution could be reached by the time outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with US President Joe Biden in Washington next month, Maas said, adding that time is only provisional.
Later on June 23, Blinken met with Merkel and did not mention the pipeline in a brief welcome remark.
Blinken said that the reason waive the ban At Nord Stream 2 AG, its chief executive, and corporate officer were that the pipeline was more than 90 percent complete when Biden took over.
a controversial pipeline
Richard Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence and US ambassador to Germany from 2018 to 2020, said that for decades, the United States has been trying to ensure that Europe has diversified energy sources.
“Some Russian energy should be included in that diversification mix for Europe,” he said.
Therefore, the construction of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was justified, although Nord Stream 2 gives Russia a lot of advantages, Grenell had built the Poland-based Warsaw Institute.
This is “much more food for Russia’s beast by allowing the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline,” he said.
For decades, US policy has been to ensure that NATO is free from Russian leverage and manipulation and “there is no problem in Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and around the world,” Grenell said.
“This is why the United States stands firmly against Nord Stream 2,” said the former ambassador to Germany, a stance that “protects Europe from persecution by the Russians”. “And we all know that Russia will look for ways to manipulate others and use that advantage to its advantage.”
Grenell said that it is surprising to the US government why the German government does not see this. He said it is also disappointing and shocking to see that Germany not only ignores the leverage placed on them by Russia through Nord Stream 2, but also does not pay its fair share to NATO, according to Grenell.
Germany was spending 1.2 percent of its GDP on defense in 2016, when former President Donald Trump strongly advocated that each NATO member should spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense, as did the coalition in 2014. All the members of the America’s share in NATO was about 3.5 percent of its GDP at the time.
“Now, many countries, including Germany, haven’t met their 2 percent obligation, but they have increased their spending, they move toward that goal,” Grenell said, adding that Trump has made NATO stronger than his predecessor. Make.
Grenell believes that the German government does not see threats from Russia the way the Trans-Atlantic Coalition sees them. Similarly, Berlin leads the effort to strike a normalization agreement with Iran because it seeks to trade with Iran and does not see it as a threat as the coalition does, he said.
In his opinion, the Germans have worked too hard to follow a “Germany first” economic model and “ignored many in Europe who call for greater sharing of the burden.”
According to Grenell, German people like to work hard and believe in capitalism “so they share a lot with Americans.” He said that Americans had also worked hard for a free and unified Germany in the past.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.