During a joint news conference with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US President Joe Biden said on Monday that “Germany and the United States are close friends and reliable partners, and we can count on one another,” Poland's energetyka24.com website reported.
Biden took a firm stance on Nord Stream 2 and a potential new Russian invasion of Ukraine, the website noted.
He said: “If Russia invades — that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again — then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
“I promise you, we’ll be able to do it,” the US leader told reporters, as quoted by the White House.
Scholz was more cautious on the subject, saying only that the United States and Germany “will unanimously act in terms of sanctions” in the event of a Russian assault on Ukraine, energetyka24.com reported.
The German chancellor stopped short of confirming that in case of an invasion, Berlin would pull the plug on Nord Stream 2, the Polish website said.
'More of a Russian ally than a western ally'
According to energetyka24.com, Scholz’s "laconic remarks" lend credibility to information shared on Twitter by Jake Tapper, a journalist with the broadcaster CNN.
Tapper tweeted on Monday: “A source close to the Ukrainian government tells me that President Zelensky cancelled his meeting today with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock because the FM refused to say Germany would abandon Nord Stream 2 pipeline even if Russia invades, and because of Germany’s refusal to provide any military assistance directly or indirectly to Kyiv.”
He added: “Officially this was described as a scheduling blunder but it was not — it was intentional, the source tells me.”
Tapper also tweeted: "Says the source: 'Germany is increasingly viewed more of a Russian ally than a western ally by many in Eastern Europe and Kyiv,'" energetyka24.com reported.
Nord Stream 2 is a controversial undersea pipeline intended to carry gas directly from Russia to Germany while bypassing Ukraine.
Russia's military buildup near Ukraine has in recent weeks raised fears in the West that Moscow may be preparing for a new invasion of the country.
Moscow has denied plans for an assault but says it could take unspecified military action if its security demands are not met, the Reuters news agency has reported.
Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and then fomented a separatist conflict in that country's eastern Donbas region, leading to a wave of EU and US sanctions against Moscow and Russian officials.
Source: energetyka24.com, whitehouse.gov