The tensions are high at the moment between Ukraine and Russia, but a potential new Russian invasion of Ukraine will come with high costs, writes Reuters.
Financial Times and Reuters are reporting that Germany is considering closing down Nord Stream 2 in case of any new Russian aggression against Ukraine. It is supposed to be an agreement reached as part of a large and extensive sanctions package between the U.S and the new German government led by Olaf Scholz in case of Russian aggression.
The news comes after an increased Russian military presence near the border to Ukraine, which makes some worried that Russia is planning a new invasion of Ukraine. According to UBN, the number of Russian soldiers close to Ukraine has risen from 94,000 to 175,000, but the Kremlin denies having any plans of an invasion of Ukraine and instead blames the Ukrainian government for having plans of retaking Donbas.
There has been a war in Donbas since 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea and war broke out between Russian-backed separatists and Ukraine in Eastern Ukraine.
“If Vladimir Putin wants to see gas flow through that pipeline, he may not want to take the risk of invading Ukraine,” U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters at the White House recently, according to Reuters.
Trying to warn Russia
The U.S President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin spoke Tuesday but that did not bring much new to the table. According to Tass, both parties admitted that the cooperation between US and Russia remains “unsatisfactory,” and that there will be further talks arranged in the near future. It is, however, difficult to say what they will bring.
“There were no minced words. It was polite, but I made it very clear: If in fact, he invades Ukraine, there’ll be severe consequences,” Biden told reporters Wednesday and added that Russia would be met with some of the strongest sanctions ever seen in history.
“The idea of the United States is going to unilaterally use force to confront Russia invading Ukraine is not in the cards right now,” said Biden, according to ABC News, “But it would depend upon what the rest of the NATO countries were willing to do as well.”
It is unclear what other sanctions besides the closure of Nord Stream 2 that Russia will be met with. The completion of Nord Stream 2 has cost around 11 billion dollars and it doubles the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline to the EU. Ukraine has been against the project as it makes it possible for Russia to bypass Ukraine. Today, much Russian gas is going through Ukraine but isn’t necessary anymore with the completion of Nord Stream 2.
The U.S. previously sanctioned the project which showed effectiveness in halting its completion. However, back in July, the U.S. made a deal with Germany about the completion of the project which angered Ukraine.