President Joe Biden on Monday threatened to block Russia’s new energy pipeline to Europe if Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine, The Washington Post reports.
“If Russia invades -- that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine, again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2,” Biden said, referring to a pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany. “We will bring an end to it.”
“But how will you do that exactly, since the project and control of the project is within Germany’s control?” a reporter asked.
“We will, I promise you, we’ll be able to do it,” Biden replied.
Biden at odds with Germany:
Biden made the statement during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz.
Scholtz gave reporters a different answer.
“We have intensively prepared everything to be ready with the necessary sanctions if there is a military aggression against Ukraine,” he said. “It is part of the process that we do not spell out everything in public, because Russia should understand that there might be even more to come.”
“Will you commit today to turning off and pulling the plug on Nord Stream 2?” a reporter asked.
Scholtz ignored the follow-up and reiterated that “we are acting together.”
“We are absolutely united and we will not be taking different steps,” he said.
Pipeline sanctions could hurt Europe too:
Europeans have defended the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, an 800-mile connection under the Baltic Sea linking Germany and Russia.
Russia already provides one-third of all natural gas to the European Union and a quarter of all crude oil.
The new pipeline, which has already been built but is not yet operational, would pump 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year without having the gas pass through Ukraine, which collects transit fees.
Scholtz said that Germany plans to “switch to hydrogen” in the near future to reduce their reliance on Russian energy imports.