Merkel expects talks with Biden admin about Nord Stream 2
Berlin, Jan 22 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she wants to speak to the administration of new US President Joe Biden about the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project that faces American sanctions.
At a press conference on Thursday, Merkel said that some transatlantic dispute, among them the Nord Stream 2 project, are still to be settled with the new US administration, Xinhua news agency.
She said that Germany and the US should “put everything on the table” and clarify the extent to which Washington can accept the project.
Such debates, she said, would now take place “on a broader foundation of shared convictions”.
There is “just a broader space for political agreement with President Biden”, the Chancellor added.
Washington and Berlin have long been at odds over the 1,230-km Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is designed to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea.
Former President Donald Trump has long voiced his discontentment about the project, complaining about Germany’s large payment to Russia on energy and “delinquency” on military spending.
German government and officials have repeatedly condemned the US sanctions and Washington’s extraterritorial administration.
At Thursday’s presser, Merkel also welcomed the decrees that Biden had signed immediately after taking office and that it was once again possible to work together with the US at the World Health Organization (WHO) and on the Paris Agreement on climate change.
She said that “we can’t now just count on political agreement” with Biden’s administration, as there will also be discussions about “how we do things well for both countries”.
“Europe will have to take on more responsibility… Not only militarily but also in the diplomatic arena and many other areas. We in Germany are ready for this and the European Union is also ready for this.”
On Wednesday, Merkel congratulated Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inauguration through government spokesman Steffen Seibert via Twitter.
“I look forward to a new chapter of German-American friendship and cooperation,” she said.