Monday 28 December 2020
Apple of contention Nord Stream 2
Maas wants to remain tough in the pipeline dispute
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany is almost ready. Nevertheless, the US is still trying to stop construction with sanctions. Federal Foreign Minister Maas emphasizes that he will remain tough in the power struggle with Washington. The upcoming change in power in the USA will not change that.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas does not want to give way in the dispute with the USA over the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline, even after the upcoming change of power in the White House. “We don’t need to talk about European sovereignty if it is understood that in the future we will only do everything as Washington wants,” said the SPD politician in an interview about the replacement of US President Donald Trump by Joe Biden. “The German government will not change its position on Nord Stream 2.”
The gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which is twice 1200 kilometers long, is 94 percent completed. The USA are still trying to stop them with sanctions and are also threatening German companies. The Americans justify their rejection of the project on the grounds that their European partners are too dependent on Russian gas. Pipeline proponents, however, accuse the US of only wanting to sell their liquefied gas better in Europe.
Biden rejects Nord Stream 2 like Trump. Maas said that there will continue to be topics in the future on which the United States has different views. “It is important that we have a common line on the central strategic and geopolitical issues, that we are on the same side of the field.”
Federal government is promoting a fresh start in relations
During Trump’s four-year reign, German-American relations had sunk to a low point because of numerous controversial issues. The federal government is now promoting a new beginning. Trump had accused Germany, among other things, of investing too little in the military. Here, too, Biden is not expected to change course.
Maas acknowledged NATO’s goal, according to which each member state should spend two percent of its gross domestic product on defense. But he also emphasized that in the wake of the Corona crisis, all states would have to reorganize their finances. “Then we will have to talk about what that means for the path we have chosen and for the goal as a whole.”
Regarding Germany’s participation in NATO’s nuclear deterrent, which his own party – the SPD – questioned, Maas said that the security needs of neighboring countries must also be taken into account. “I miss that a bit in the whole debate. When you say that we as Germany want to get out of nuclear participation, you also have to consider what that means for our partners.” This means countries like Poland and the Baltic states that border Russia and feel threatened by the neighboring country.
In Büchel, Rhineland-Palatinate, in the Eifel, around 20 US atomic bombs are said to be stored, and leading SPD politicians have repeatedly pleaded for their withdrawal. In an emergency, the bombs are to be dropped by Bundeswehr fighter jets. This is what NATO calls “nuclear participation”.