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Germany Seeks Deal With Biden on Controversial Pipeline

 |  February 16, 2021

Germany wants to make a deal with the US in order to complete the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas project that has caused friction between the two countries.

The 1,230-kilometer (764-mile) gas pipeline that’ll bring the fuel from Russia to Germany has been a persistent source of trans-Atlantic friction. Its construction was halted for a year after the US imposed sanctions. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition is working on a proposal that’ll attempt to soften Russia’s influence over the European energy market, addressing some of the US’s concerns on the project, according to Bloomberg.

Berlin’s strategy to convince the US to scrap sanctions over the project include a regulatory mechanism that would limit Russia’s ability to manipulate the energy market. Germany also plans to offer its support to US liquefied natural gas imports with the construction of LNG terminals, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

“German, EU and US officials are in talks about a package of measures which seeks to enhance Ukrainian stability and European energy sovereignty,” CDU energy lawmaker Mark Helfrich, said.

The package could include the possibility to stop Russian gas supply through Nord Stream 2 if Russia breaches its gas obligations under the Ukrainian treaty or if it severely breaches international law or human rights, he said by phone.

Led by Russia’s Gazprom PJSC, the project has caused consecutive US administrations to publicly oppose the pipeline. The U.S. maintains that the gas link gives Moscow too much leverage over Europe’s gas supplies and threatens the security of the region. For its part, Germany says that the project is commercial and will give added flexibility the European power mix.

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