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Washington wants to use the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as “leverage” against Moscow

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The White House has not made it clear whether the President of the United States brandished this energy threat on Tuesday during his virtual summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

But in front of the press, his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, insisted on this lead. absolutely priority.

Noting that the gas pipeline was not yet in operation, pending certification on the German side, he considered that it could not therefore serve as a leverage for Putin. It is a lever for the West, because if Vladimir Putin wants the future Nord Stream 2 to carry gas, he may not take the risk of invading Ukraine., he said.

Since last week, the US government has threatened Russia, accused of massing its troops again on the Ukrainian border, with draconian economic sanctions if it decides to attack the neighboring country. And to show that he is more determined than in 2014, when he let Moscow annex Ukrainian Crimea, he assures us that these will be unprecedented sanctions that he refrained from using in the past exactly because of the impact they would have on Russia.

nuclear option in the light of the repercussions it would have for the Russian economy, but also for the world, would only be considered by the United States as a last resort – no American official has confirmed it.

Swift would be a major escalationformer US ambassador to Kiev, William Taylor, vice-president of the United States Institute of Peace think tank, told AFP.

According to him,2 is a serious option “,” text “:” Nord Stream2 is a serious option “}} ‘>Nord Stream 2 is a serious option, one of the most important measures under study, because it would allow the Biden administration to show great firmness without going so far as to cause an economic earthquake.

NS2 has long poisoned relations between Washington and Berlin.

The United States strongly opposes this pipeline which passes through the Baltic Sea, threatening to deprive Ukraine of part of the revenue collected on the transit, but also of a means of pressure on Moscow.

Despite a political class opposed to the project, no American government has however taken the risk of going into conflict with Germany, a key ally. And the limited sanctions taken so far have not stopped construction from going to the end.

Noting that the work is now inevitable, Joe Biden has decided to end the dispute with the Germans by signing an agreement with them in July which is now back on the international stage.

What will Germany decide?

A gas terminal.

The Lubmin gas terminal in Germany is the link between Russian oil and the European gas distribution network.

Photo: Getty Images / AFP / JOHN MACDOUGALL

This text warned that if Russia were to commit aggressive acts against Ukraine, Germany would take action to limit Russian export capacities to Europe in the energy sector.

It is on this compromise, which went largely unnoticed at the time, that American diplomacy is based today.

If President Putin moves on Ukraine, we expect the pipeline to be suspended, hammered Tuesday the number three of the State Department, Victoria Nuland, in front of the American senators.

For William Taylor, it is a powerful weapon, because it’s a long-term project for the Kremlin.

The reason Putin really cares about it is that it would allow him to be able to open and close gas valves to Europe and so from influence European decision-making, he believes. Such a threat therefore goes get his full attention.

On the American political scene, it also allows the Democratic president to respond to Republicans who do not forgive him for having resigned themselves to the construction of the pipeline.

It remains to be seen whether Germany, so far very attached to Nord Stream 2, is ready to play the American game when the conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel hands over power to the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz.

Germans are divided on this, argues William Taylor, noting that the future Minister of Foreign Affairs, the ecologist Annalena Baerbock, is on a line more opposed to the gas pipeline.

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