Tuesday, May 4th, 2021
Maas meets US colleague Blinken
The dispute over Nord Stream 2 continues to simmer
Even at a personal meeting of the two foreign ministers, Germany and the USA cannot resolve the dispute over Nord Stream 2. The mutual positions have been exchanged, explains Heiko Maas. The federal government itself is not entirely in agreement on the issue.
In the dispute between the USA and Germany over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, there is still no solution in sight. At a meeting between Foreign Ministers Antony Blinken and Heiko Maas on the sidelines of a G7 meeting in London, there was no rapprochement.
“We also talked about Nord Stream 2 and exchanged the positions we were mutually familiar with,” said Maas after the 40-minute conversation. “There are no news.” Blinken had brought up the US “strong opposition” to Nord Stream 2, said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
The almost completed pipeline between Russia and Germany has been one of the main points of contention in German-American relations for years. The change of government in Washington at the beginning of the year did nothing to change that. The USA fear that Europe is too dependent on Russian gas and wants to stop the project with sanctions. Proponents of the pipeline counter the Americans that they are only looking for better sales opportunities for their liquefied gas in Europe.
AKK signals compliance
There is disagreement in the German government coalition about how to proceed. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer recently signaled concession after a meeting with her US counterpart Lloyd Austin in Berlin. She was open to a temporary construction freeze and suggested making operations dependent on the behavior of Russia upon completion.
Maas emphasized that the dispute with the US over the pipeline only constituted a “small part” of bilateral relations. “Except for this problem, I (…) don’t see any at the moment that I would even begin to describe as serious.”
Germany and the USA are in the process of repairing the relationship that was badly damaged during the tenure of US President Donald Trump. The US side said that transatlantic cooperation was indispensable in view of the “destabilizing activities” of Russia, China and Iran.