US says Berlin shuts down gas pipeline if Russia attacks Ukraine

US says Berlin shuts down gas pipeline if Russia attacks Ukraine

Photo: ANP

Germany shuts down controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That’s what they agreed with the Americans, US officials told members of Congress. Nord Stream 2 extends from Russia to Germany.

The pipeline has been completed, but it is still awaiting approval for its use from German authorities. The certification process was suspended in November due to a legal hurdle. The German regulator’s approval is one of the last steps before commissioning the pipeline, which is expected to double Russian gas supplies to Germany. However, the delay has made it unlikely that Nord Stream 2 will be able to help alleviate gas shortages in Europe this winter.

Washington sees the pipeline across the Baltic Sea as strategically dangerous. Thus, Russia can limit energy supplies in Europe. In addition, Moscow may decide to stop using existing pipelines through Ukraine and put pressure on that country.

The United States and its European allies fear that Russia is planning to attack or even invade Ukraine. Moscow gathered several thousand soldiers in the border area. US President Biden spoke with his Russian counterpart Putin on Tuesday, hoping to ease tensions.

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