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Ukraine strikes back as US and Germany reach agreement on Nord Stream 2 – POLITICO

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The US and Germany reached an agreement on a controversial gas pipeline between Russia and Europe on Wednesday to appease critics in Washington and Central and Eastern Europe who fear it will mainly benefit Moscow. But Kiev doesn’t have it.

Ukraine has demanded formal talks with Brussels and Berlin on the pipeline known as Nord Stream 2, citing a clause in the agreement with the EU on political association and economic integration. Kiev’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also sent a joint statement with his counterpart in Poland saying that efforts to allay their concerns “cannot be considered sufficient”.

The Ukrainian-Polish statement said that US President Joe Biden’s decision to stop opposing the pipeline “created a political, military and energy threat to Ukraine and Central Europe while increasing Russia’s potential Destabilize the security situation in Europe and maintain the split between NATO and the European Union ”. Member states. “

The deal, which comes after years of opposition from the US, aims to address concerns about the 98 percent completed pipeline. These include concerns about energy security in the region – and the economic blow to Ukraine when Moscow stops paying Kiev billions annually to use Ukrainian pipelines to transport gas to the EU.

The agreement contains commitments that Germany will take action at national level and press for EU sanctions if Russia “uses energy as a weapon or commits further aggressive acts against Ukraine”. It also establishes a new US-Germany climate and energy partnership that will focus on reducing energy reliance on Russia by accelerating the green transformations of countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Biden’s team had urged the deal to be finalized before August 19, when the next legally required Nord Stream 2 sanctions report is due to be presented to Congress. The president came under heavy fire from US lawmakers in May for waiving penalties against Nord Stream 2 and affiliated companies in the name of national security – and faced further complaints after the German agreement was published.

Derek Chollet, an advisor to the US State Department, is visiting Kiev and Warsaw this week to seek regional support for the deal – an attempt that has so far been unsuccessful.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament released a tripartite statement late Wednesday calling on the US, Germany and the EU to stop the pipeline, which it called “illegal”.

Deal details

As part of the agreement with Washington, Germany promised to adhere to the “word and spirit” of EU gas liberalization rules when assessing compliance with Nord Stream 2, including an “assessment of all risks arising from the certification of the project operator for energy security “. Supply of the EU. “

It will also appoint a special envoy until September 1 to negotiate the extension of the Russia-Ukraine gas transit agreement until 2034. Last year, this agreement generated revenue of 2.11 billion euros for Kiev.

To aid Kiev’s green transition, Berlin announced it will set up and manage a so-called Green Fund for the country that will provide and work to raise an initial donation of $ 175 million, at least $ 1 billion from other sources, including the private sector to generate. In addition, Ukraine will receive an additional $ 70 million from Germany to move away from coal and support bilateral energy projects.

“Germany is also ready to launch a Ukraine Resilience Package in support of Ukraine’s energy security” by securing its gas pipeline infrastructure against cybersecurity and allowing return flows from the EU to Ukraine should Russia ever attempt the supplies to interrupt to the west, says the agreement.

Germany will consider financially supporting the Three Seas Initiative for Regional Energy Security and contributing up to 1.77 billion US dollars through the EU budget to support projects of common interest in the energy sector.

David Herszenhorn contributed the reporting.

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