By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BERLIN/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Germany and the United States have warned Russia that they could target a key Russian natural gas pipeline if the country invades Ukraine.
The U.S. State Department said the Nord Stream 2 pipeline “will not move forward” if Russia attacks.
The controversial energy project is designed to double natural gas flow and runs from Russia direct to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
It circumvents Ukraine, which relies on existing pipelines for income and is under threat from Russian forces.
“I want to be very clear: if Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price. “I’m not going to get into the specifics. We will work with Germany to ensure it does not move forward,” he added.
Separately, Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, said Nord Stream 2 could be up for discussion uncertain amid a “broad range” of responses to Russian aggression.
Russia claims it has “no intention” to invade Ukraine, but intelligence officials say it has up to 127,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders.
“In the case of a new act of aggression, we have a broad bandwidth of responses at our disposal, including Nord Stream 2,” Baerbock told the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, Thursday.
The energy threats come as countries in Central and Eastern Europe have expressed concern that they too will suffer the consequences of a Russian invasion into Ukraine.
As winter sets in, these countries are heavily dependent on Russian energy deliveries, and some fear sanctions will hurt them.
On Thursday, Romania’s defense minister met in the capital Bucharest with his French counterpart, who pledged to stand by Romania through “difficult times” as tensions soar between Russia and Ukraine.
Neighboring Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who opposes more sanctions against Russia, meets Russian President Vladimir Putin next week, February 1.
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