Following the Washington encounter, Zelensky told Ukrainian TV that Biden personally gave him guarantees that America would protect Kiev’s interests.
The US is ready to impose sanctions if Ukraine’s rights and energy security are violated, the comedian-turned-politician insisted, particularly noting the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which has long upset key figures in the US.
Once finished, the project will connect Germany directly to Russia via the Baltic Sea, allowing Moscow to send gas without needing to pay tariffs for it to pass through other countries. Berlin’s aim is to protect its energy security and make the process less reliant on third parties, thereby lowering the price.
As things stand, Russia’s Gazprom pays large sums to Kiev in gas transit fees. According to Ukraine’s Zelensky, Nord Stream 2 will potentially cost Kiev $3 billion every year in lost revenue.
The construction of the pipeline has been hindered by US sanctions. However, earlier this year, Biden revealed that Washington had acknowledged that measures would not stop the project. However, the Americans have said they reserve the right to reimpose any sanctions if Russia uses energy as a geopolitical “weapon.”
“So far, we are at the stage where President Biden personally guarantees that if any things are violated by Russia or any other parties to Nord Stream 2 launch something... that provides an unsafe situation, or energy problems for Ukraine, the US guarantees the imposition of sanctions against Nord Stream 2,” Zelensky said.
On July 21, the US and Germany reached an agreement on Nord Stream 2. In particular, Berlin pledged to encourage Moscow to continue the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. The current transit deal expires in 2024.
“The United States and Germany are united in their belief that it is in Ukraine’s and Europe’s interest for gas transit via Ukraine to continue beyond 2024,” said a joint statement from the two nations.
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