Fossil energy – Nord Stream 2
President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed on Thursday to settle their dispute over Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline but said they agreed that Moscow must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce its neighbours.
“Good friends can disagree,” Biden told reporters after two meetings with Merkel at the White House, adding that both leaders had asked their teams to look at practical measures they could take together if Russia’s actions posed a threat.
Merkel said Russia could face EU sanctions if it violated its agreement to continue shipping gas supplies through Ukraine.
Biden said he expressed his long-standing concerns to Merkel about the $11 billion pipeline, which would deliver gas from the Arctic to Germany via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine and depriving it of valuable transit fees.
Washington is pressing Germany to find ways to ensure that Russia cannot use the pipeline, which is 98% complete, to harm Ukraine or other allies in Eastern Europe. The project is led by Russian state energy company Gazprom and its Western partners.
File photo: President Joe Biden meets for a brief pull-aside meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the G7 Summit at the Carbis Bay Hotel and Estate on Saturday, June 12, 2021, in St. Ives, Cornwall, England. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)