Germany, US seek resolution of Nord Stream 2 dispute by end of August – Altmaier


A road sign directs traffic to the entrance to the Nord Stream 2 gas line landing facility in Lubmin, Germany, September 10, 2020. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) – German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Friday he had had a productive meeting with US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and that the two countries were determined to resolve a dispute on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline by the end of August.

Altmaier told reporters after a meeting with Granholm he was encouraged by comments this week from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who noted that the pipeline is nearing completion and any solution must be acceptable to both parties.

“We are committed to finding a solution by August,” said Altmaier. “There is a lot to be done to break this Gordian knot and it is certainly worth working towards a good resolution.”

Washington opposes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would double Russian gas exports across the Baltic Sea and could help Russia cut gas exports through Ukraine, depriving Kiev of transit fees.

The US State Department concluded in May that Nord Stream 2 AG – the company behind the pipeline to Germany – and its CEO Matthias Warnig, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, were engaging in punishable activities sanctions.

Blinken lifted those sanctions, saying it was in the national interest of the United States, and President Joe Biden later said the move reflected his desire to reconnect with Germany.

Altmaier said the issue remained complex given geopolitical, energy and business interests, but was optimistic a solution was possible, especially given the two countries’ common interest in moving away from fossil fuels. .

Altmaier said that Germany agreed during negotiations with the former Trump administration to build two LNG gas terminals that could receive gas deliveries from the United States, if problems arose with Russia, but the new U.S. government was more interested in the development of carbon neutral energy solutions.

He said he told Granholm that Germany, like the United States, is investing heavily in technologies to lower the cost of producing so-called green hydrogen, which is made using renewable energy to power electrolysers to convert gas. ‘water.

“We agreed that we wanted to share our knowledge, develop it further and maybe work together on projects with other countries,” he said.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Writing by Lisa Lambert

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