21:55 GMT27 July 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Biden administration decided not to obstruct construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline because they realised sanctions would not work and wanted to avoid alienating Germany, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday.

    "We have come to the conclusion, as any rational observer would, that sanctions are unlikely to stop the completion of the pipeline… that is why this administration determined that it was not in our interest to significantly undermine, weaken our bilateral relationship [with our ally Germany] for a pipeline, whose construction would continue nonetheless", Price told reporters.

    Earlier, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said that Ukraine would be at more risk without the US-German agreement on Nord Stream 2.

    "I, as you know, as a long-time friend and supporter of Ukraine believe that if we had not this agreement with the pipeline 90 percent complete, Ukraine would be at considerably more risk", Nuland said in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations.

    Nuland earlier said that the United States later on Wednesday will officially unveil its deal with Germany on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. The US government will also issue an invitation to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later on Wednesday to discuss Kiev's concerns about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline deal reached between the United States and Germany.

    According to the official, Germany has committed in the deal it reached with the United States on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to take action and pressure the European Union to act if Russia uses energy as weapon against Ukraine.

    "Among other things Germany has committed in this agreement with us that should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine, Germany will take actions at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level including sanctions to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector", Nuland told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    The Russia-led project, which is nearly complete, aims at transporting natural gas from Russia directly to Germany. Washington has imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on companies and officials engaged in the project. Russia has consistently maintained that the project is purely economic and urged others to stop politicising the issue.

    Tags:
    Nord Stream 2, Ukraine, Victoria Nuland, US
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