What needs to be stopped

Flashing: Nord Stream 2 must be stopped

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has asked Germany to stop the completion of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline. At the same time, he did not rule out further sanctions by the United States. President Joe Biden has made it very clear that he thinks the gas pipeline is "a bad idea" - bad for Europe and bad for the US, Blinken said in Brussels on his first official visit to Europe after taking office.

Nord Stream 2 also contradicts the EU's goals in the field of energy security. In addition, the pipeline "has the potential to undermine the interests of Ukraine, Poland and a number of other close partners or allies".

"Reaffirm Washington's Position"

In his own words, the US Secretary of State expects the dispute over the project to play a role in the first personal meeting with his German colleague Heiko Maas. On the sidelines of the NATO meeting, which begins this Tuesday, he wants to reaffirm Washington's position, said Blinken. This also means that companies working on Nord Stream 2 would be subject to US penalties.

Seeks solidarity with NATO partners: US Secretary of State Blinken (left) with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg

The previous US administration under President Donald Trump had already made calls for the project to be terminated. The pipeline is now more than 90 percent complete, with two strings of around 1200 kilometers in length. In the future, they will transport 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Germany each year.

The United States justifies its rejection with the - from their point of view - overdependence of the European partners on Russian gas. Sanctions were already imposed on a company involved in the construction in January.

Pipes for the construction of Nord Stream 2, which are stored in the port of Mukran on the island of Ruegen (archive picture)

Pipeline proponents accuse the USA of wanting to increase sales opportunities for their own liquefied gas on the European market with their approach. However, Nord Stream 2 is also controversial within the European Union. The European Parliament demands a construction freeze.

jj / rb (dpa, afp, rtr)