The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be halted if Russia invades Ukraine, announced US President Joe Biden yesterday.
Speaking at a White House press conference alongside the new German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, he said the pipeline would be closed down if Russia instigates conflict in the region.
“If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the … border of Ukraine again, then there will be … no longer a Nord Stream 2. We, we will bring an end to it,” Biden said.
Asked how, given the project is in German control, Biden said: “I promise you, we’ll be able to do it.”
Scholz said the US and Germany had the same approach to Ukraine and to Russia and sanctions.
However, he stopped short of calling for Nord Stream 2 to be cancelled, and failed to mention the pipeline publicly by name over the course of his day-long visit.
“We will be united. We will act together. And we will take all the necessary steps,” said Scholz.
Nord Stream 2 has already been completed and awaits certification from German regulators and the European Union’s (EU) commission.
Washington has long been opposed to the £8.4bn 759-mile pipeline project, which will double Russian gas exports with Germany, providing 55bn cubic metres of natural gas per year.
It believes the pipeline will make Europe too dependent on Russia for energy supplies, with the continent already relianton Russia for around 40 per cent of its natural gas imports.
Germany’s regulators suspended its process temporarily last year amid governance concerns, but are expected to reach a decision later this year.
Meanwhile EU commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovkis revealed last week that the approval process in Brussels has been held up amid compliance issues.
However, both parties have not called for the pipeline to be scrapped.
Whether the US and Germany are on the same page over crucial question as the two major democracies lead NATO allies in pushback against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Over the past two months, Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops near the Ukraine border.
While the Kremlin denies planning an invasion, US officials have gloomily warned an attack could occur within days or weeks.