United States Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said that says Washington will not let Nord Stream 2 get into the way of the US relationship with Germany.
"On the issue of Nord Stream, we've expressed our opposition to this deal and the influence that it will actually give Russia, but we're not going to let that issue get in the way of the tremendous relationship that we have with the country of Germany, so we're going to continue to work with Germany and the rest of our allies in the region to strengthen our alliances and continue to move forward," Austin said at a press conference following a meeting with German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
He also said that the US government is no longer planning a withdrawal of troops from Germany, adding that the US will deploy an additional 500 troops there.
Meanwhile, the German Defence Minister said that it is necessary to link the volume of gas transportation via Nord Stream 2 with Russia's "behaviour".
Washington has repeatedly shown its displeasure over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is set to carry gas from Russia to Europe and imposed sanctions against companies that are involved in the project.
Germany has repeatedly rejected the prospect of new extraterritorial sanctions against Nord Stream 2, calling US efforts in this direction an "encroachment on European sovereignty", and warning that it is closely coordinating the issue with its EU partners. The German government's spokesman Steffen Seibert said last month that Berlin has repeatedly reaffirmed its rejection of such sanctions.
Moscow, in turn, has repeatedly warned against politicising what it touts as a purely economic project, and sees the US sanctions against the project as an example of unfair competition meant to boost American liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian energy company Gazprom and five European partners, aimed at the construction of a twin pipeline to deliver Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea. The project is a constant target of criticism and sanctions by the United States, which claims that the project is posing a threat to the energy security of Europe and Ukraine.