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САЩ и Германия сключват споразумение за газопровода "Северен поток 2", за да отблъснат руската "агресия"

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Работници се виждат на строителната площадка на газопровода "Северен поток 2", близо до град Кингисеп, Ленинградска област, Русия, 5 юни 2019 г. REUTERS / Антон Ваганов / Файл Снимка

САЩ и Германия представиха споразумение за газопровода "Северен поток 2", съгласно което Берлин се ангажира да отговори на всеки опит на Русия да използва енергията като оръжие срещу Украйна и други страни от Централна и Източна Европа, пиша Саймън Луис, Andrea Shalal, Андреас Ринке, Томас Ескрит, Павел Политюк, Аршад Мохамед, Дейвид Брунстром и Дойинсола Оладипо.

Пактът има за цел да смекчи това, което критиците виждат като стратегически опасности от тръбопровода от 11 милиарда долара, now 98% complete, being built under the Baltic Sea to carry gas from Russia’s Arctic region to Germany.

U.S. officials have opposed the pipeline, which would allow Russia to export gas directly to Germany and potentially cut off other nations, but President Joe Biden’s administration has chosen not to try to kill it with US sanctions.

Вместо това тя е договорила пакта с Германия, който заплашва да наложи разходи на Русия, ако тя се опита да използва тръбопровода, за да навреди на Украйна или други страни в региона.

Но тези мерки изглеждаха малко за успокояване на страховете в Украйна, която заяви, че иска преговори както с Европейския съюз, така и с Германия по тръбопровода. Споразумението се сблъсква и с политическа опозиция в САЩ и Германия.

A joint statement setting out the details of the deal said Washington and Berlin were “united in their determination to hold Russia to account for its aggression and malign activities by imposing costs via sanctions and other tools.”

If Russia attempts to “use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine,” Germany will take steps on its own and push for actions at the EU, including sanctions, “to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector,” the statement said.

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It did not detail specific Russian actions that would trigger such a move. “We elected not to provide Russia with a road map in terms of how they can evade that commitment to push back,” a senior State Department official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“We also will certainly look to hold any future German governments accountable for the commitments that they have made in this,” the official said.

Under the agreement, Germany will “utilize all available leverage” to extend by 10 years the Russia-Ukraine gas transit agreement, a source of major revenues to Ukraine that expires in 2024.

Germany will also contribute at least $175 million to a new $1 billion “Green Fund for Ukraine” aimed at improving the country’s energy independence.

Ukraine sent notes to Brussels and Berlin calling for consultations, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet, adding the pipeline “threatens Ukraine’s security.” Прочети повече.

Kuleba also issued a statement with Poland’s foreign minister, Zbigniew Rau, pledging to work together to oppose Nord Stream 2.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he was looking forward to a “frank and vibrant”discussion with Biden over the pipeline when the two meet in Washington next month. The visit was announced by the White House on Wednesday, but press secretary Jen Psaki said the timing of the announcement was not related to the pipeline agreement.

Германският канцлер Ангела Меркел разговаря по телефона с руския президент Владимир Путин часове преди освобождаването на споразумението, заяви германското правителство, като каза, че сред темите са "Северен поток 2" и транзитът на газ през Украйна.

The pipeline had been hanging over US-German relations since former President Donald Trump said it could turn Germany into a “hostage of Russia” and approved some sanctions.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter he was “relieved that we have found a constructive solution”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, asked about the reported details of the agreement earlier on Wednesday, said any threat of sanctions against Russia was not “acceptable,” according to the Interfax news agency.

Още преди то да бъде оповестено публично, изтеклите подробности за споразумението предизвикаха критики от онези законодатели както в Германия, така и в САЩ.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who has been holding up Biden’s ambassadorial nominations over his concerns about Nord Stream 2, said the reported agreement would be “a generational geopolitical win for Putin and a catastrophe for the United States and our allies.”

Cruz and some other lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are furious with the Democratic president for waiving congressionally mandated sanctions against the pipeline and are working on ways to force the administration’s hand on sanctions, according to congressional aides.

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said she was not convinced the agreement would mitigate the impact of the pipeline, which she said “empowers the Kremlin to spread its malign influence throughout Eastern Europe.”

“I’m skeptical that it will be sufficient when the key player at the table – Russia – refuses to play by the rules,” Shaheen said.

In Germany, top members of the environmentalist Greens party called the reported agreement “a bitter setback for climate protection” that would benefit Putin and weaken Ukraine.

Служителите на администрацията на Байдън настояват, че тръбопроводът беше толкова близо до завършване, когато встъпи в длъжност през януари, че нямаше начин те да предотвратят завършването му.

“Certainly we think that there is more that the previous administration could have done,” the US official said. “But, you know, we were making the best of a bad hand.”

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