The U.S. Department of State has vowed to block a major Russian energy project from moving forward if it opts to invade Ukraine. Specifically, the State Department is eyeballing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which runs directly between Russia and Germany.
On Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price proclaimed that he would like “to be very clear” on the American response if Russia were to invade Ukraine: “If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”
At this point in time, Germany seems to support the tougher American stance on Russia. Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Emily Haber, posted an update to Twitter that referenced a joint declaration reached by the United States and Germany last summer.
“If Russia uses energy as a weapon or if there is another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, Russia will have to pay a high price,” Haber recalled.
Haber continued on to note that other officials, including Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Chancellor Olaf Scholz have agreed that “nothing will be off the table” in the event of a potential invasion of Ukraine, “including Nord Stream 2.”
Nord Stream 2 has long been one of the most controversial energy projects in Europe. The Russian energy project is designed to double the amount of gas flowing from Russia directly to Germany via pipelines in the Baltic Sea.
In doing so, Russia will entirely bypass Ukraine, which traditionally served as a transit point between Russia and Germany, further weakening Ukraine’s leverage in the geopolitical sphere.
Unsurprisingly, the Nord Stream 2 project has encountered stiff resistance within Ukraine and Europe, as well as within the United States. Critics charge that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will render Europe even more dependent upon Russia. While the dependence is never an ideal, it is even more dangerous in the face of increasing aggression from Moscow towards the Western powers.