Putin issued warning over deal with Germany – fears Moscow will weaponise gas pipeline

THE US and Germany have sent a warning to Moscow over the Nord Stream 2 project, saying they would retaliate if Russia used the gas pipeline as a weapon.

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World news site Insider Paper today tweeted: “US and Germany send Russia warning in draft deal on Nord Stream 2. Germany said it would retaliate if Russia uses gas as a weapon.” The Nord Stream 2 project is set to cost $11bn.

It will double the natural-gas carrying capacity from Russia to Germany when it is completed this year.

Germany supports the project, however, the US opposes the pipeline, arguing that it hands a considerable amount of geopolitical power to Moscow.

Mr Biden has now backed away from sanctions on companies involved in Nord Stream 2.

The US and NATO maintain that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a geopolitical weapon aimed at the heart of Europe.

The US and Germany have sent a warning to Moscow over the Nord 2 pipe line

The US and Germany have sent a warning to Moscow over the Nord Stream 2 pipe line (Image: GETTY)

The US believes that it was conceived as a way to isolate Ukraine and strengthen Russia’s position in its dealings with the EU and its allies.

On 15 July President Biden and the German Chancellor met in Washington but were unable to reach a comprehensive agreement over how to deal with Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.

However, the two nations agreed that Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce its neighbours.

The US president has been under cross-party pressure to impose sanctions on the pipeline operation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Image: GETTY)

However, he stopped short of enabling these sanctions, but instead reinforces his position to be “absolutely united in our conviction that Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce or threaten its neighbours”.

Ms Merkel added her support to Mr Biden’s warning to Moscow and insisted that Ukraine should not be sidelined by Russia in any future scenario.

She added that Berlin would “actively” respond if Russia did not respect Ukraine’s sovereign rights.

At a press conference in Washington Ms Merkel was asked by reporters to clarify how Germany could act if Russia threatened to use the gas pipeline as a weapon.

Russian military might

Russian military might (Image: Express)

The German Chancellor said the European Union had “a number of instruments” it could use, including sanctions, if Russia was to weaponise their natural gas output, such as to cut off shipments through Ukraine.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is controversial because it would see gas being delivered from the Arctic to Germany via the Baltic Sea, thus bypassing Ukraine and making Kiev lose out on valuable transit fees.

However, the joint statement released by Germany and the US included investments aimed at supporting Ukraine’s energy security.

An agreement between the US and Germany on how to deal with Moscow and the threat presented by the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is expected to be formulated before August.

This would then end the threat from Washington of sanctioning Russia over Nord Stream 2.

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