BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Germany is betting the U.S. administration will take a pragmatic approach to the Nord Stream 2 project to ship Russian gas to Europe and is pushing for the pipeline’s completion in defiance of U.S. opposition, officials and diplomats said. To try to block the $11 billion project, led by Russia’s Gazprom, successive U.S. administrations have imposed sanctions on some entities and warned other companies involved in the project about the sanctions risk. President Joe Biden thinks the pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany is “a bad idea for Europe,” the White House has said. Nord Stream 2 will bypass Western ally Ukraine, potentially depriving it of valuable transit fees. It will also increase European energy dependency on Russia and compete with shipments of U.S. liquefied natural gas. Berlin is calculating the best strategy is to present the United States with a done deal in the form of a finished project, diplomats and officials said. The pipeline is already around 95% built, and could be finished by September, analysts who monitor tracking data say, leaving the Biden administration little time to come up with more measures to thwart it. “Berlin is trying to buy time and make… continue reading
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