Thursday, March 4, 2021

Russia Tells U.S. To Focus on Texas Rather than Oppose Their Gas Pipeline

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The Kremlin has said that the U.S. should focus on its own energy crisis by helping those suffering in Texas from power outages rather than trying to scupper a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

Construction of Nord Stream 2 had been paused due to opposition from the previous Trump administration and sanctions on individuals and companies involved as ties between Washington and Moscow deteriorated.

The pipeline beneath the Baltic Sea is 90 percent completed and would transport Russian gas to Germany and on to western Europe.

However, the U.S. as well several European countries are worried about the geopolitical implications on the continent which would rely more on Russia for energy.

This week, Republican and Democrat lawmakers said in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the pipeline “would enable the Putin regime to further weaponize Russia’s energy resources to exert political pressure throughout Europe.”

Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline
Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline are pictured in north eastern Germany, are pictured on September 7, 2020. The previous Trump administration opposed the project.
ODD ANDERSEN/Getty Images

Another concern is that the pipeline would circumvent Ukraine, depriving Kyiv of much needed revenue. Biden’s press secretary Jenny Psaki said the president thought the $11 billion project, was a “bad deal for Europe,” Reuters reported.

But when asked about Psaki’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the project “has absolutely nothing to do with the energy supply of the United States.”

“This project concerns the energy security of the European continent, especially with the turbulence caused by climate change, and so on,” he told reporters, according to Interfax.

“It would make sense for our American partners to be less interested in Nord Stream 2 and more interested in Texas’ heat and energy supply,” Peskov added.

His comment that the U.S. should deal with its own energy issues comes as millions in the Lone Star State continue to cope without power and drinking water following an abnormally severe winter storm.

Nearly seven million people in the state have been told to boil tap water before consuming it.

Some have blamed the freezing of wind turbines during the cold snap, although Michael Webber, an energy resources professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said that all of the state’s energy sources were failing, in particular its gas supply.

With Washington wanting to promote the sale of U.S. fracked gas to Europe, the Biden administration has opened talks with Berlin on the future of Nord Stream 2 although Peskov said he did not know about the state of those negotiations.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

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Originally published at https://www.newsweek.com/russia-kremlin-dmitry-peskov-nord-stream-2-texas-1570258 on .

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