Ukraine says lifting Nord Stream sanctions would be win for Russia
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that lifting US-imposed sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would represent a victory for Russia.
On Wednesday, the United States formally waived sanctions against Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG, the Russian-controlled builder of a major Russia-Germany gas pipeline.
The move was aimed at defusing tensions between Washington and Berlin over the $12-billion project, which Germany and other European countries see as crucial to securing long-term energy supplies.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that the administration of Joe Biden would “continue to oppose the completion of this project,” arguing it would weaken European energy security.
Russian neighbors Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states have fiercely opposed the pipeline, fearing it will increase Moscow’s political leverage in regional politics.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Zelensky said he was concerned that Washington could move to cancel the sanctions altogether.
“I think there is a big risk that they (Russia) might put pressure on the United States ... to lift the sanctions on Nord Stream,” Zelensky said.
“This will be a major geopolitical victory for the Russian Federation,” Zelensky said. “It would be a loss for the United States and President Biden personally.”
The US waiver was announced as Moscow and Washington sought to defuse their biggest bi-lateral relations crisis in years.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Blinken met on the sidelines of an Arctic Council meeting in Reykjavik, the first high-profile encounter between the two countries under Biden’s administration.
The two discussed Washington’s proposal to organize a summit meeting between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, possibly in June.
“This is a positive signal,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Thursday in reference to the US waiver.
East European states slam Russian ‘aggressive acts’ targeting Ukraine, Czech RepublicThe leaders of nine eastern European nations on Monday condemned what they termed Russian “aggressive acts” citing operations in Ukraine and ... World News
US to strongly support Ukraine against ‘reckless’ Russian actions, says BlinkenUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday Washington could increase security assistance for Ukraine after what he called Russia’s ... World News
Blinken reaffirms US support for Ukraine amid Russia tensionsUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed Washington’s support for Ukraine at a meeting Thursday with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the wake ... World News