Heiko Maas: Negotiations with the U.S. Over Nord Stream 2 Sanctions Will Be Difficult

Negotiations between the U.S. and Germany regarding the cancellation of Nord Stream 2-related sanctions are expected to be very difficult but are well underway because there’s both parties are still interested in finding a common path, German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas said on Tuesday.

Maas spoke ahead of a meeting with his counterparts from fellow NATO member states in Washington aimed at laying groundwork for the Alliance’s first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden after the four tumultuous years with the Trump administration.

Maas confirmed that negotiations are now underway between the German government and the administration in Washington, that not are taking into account the decision in Washington and the comments of President Biden on this topic, but also the interest in finding a common path.

According to the German minister, who said he was all up for dialogue on the matter, the talks are aimed at finding a solution to the issue of Nord Stream 2, the pipeline which is set to deliver Russian gas to Germany and is some 95% complete.

President Joe Biden’s administration waived sanctions against Nord Stream 2, mandated by Congress for Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive Matthias Warnig, claiming “it is in the national interests of the United States.”

Washington called the move geopolitical security risk still claiming the project will strengthen Russia’s hold on Europe and its energy market, but it defused tensions between Washington and Berlin over the $12-billion project seen as crucial to securing long-term energy supplies to the region.

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