The State Department detailed an agreement Wednesday between the U.S. and Germany allowing the completion of a controversial Russian natural-gas pipeline, giving Germany and Russia a long-sought victory on energy while limiting concessions to the U.S. and Ukraine.
The deal gives Germany access to expanded supplies of energy and allows Russia to double its deliveries of natural gas directly to Germany, bypassing an existing route through Ukraine, which has opposed the pipeline.
The benefits of the deal to the U.S. and Ukraine are less tangible, with U.S. and German officials agreeing to assist Kyiv in energy-related projects and diplomatic initiatives. A U.S. request for a so-called kill-switch clause, enabling Berlin to suspend gas flows in the event of Russian aggression toward its neighbors or Western allies, wasn’t included, officials said.
U.S. officials under two previous presidential administrations opposed Nord Stream 2—seeing it as a way for Moscow to increase its economic and political sway across Europe—and tried to stop the project through international pressure and sanctions.
President Biden, seeking closer ties with Europe and with Berlin in particular, took a different approach. While still opposing the pipeline, his administration said it was too far along to prevent its completion.