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The United States assures that it would never take action against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

The United States would “never” take action against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, affected by leaks that allies describe as sabotage, despite having positioned itself against the project, considering that it would undermine European independence from Russia, the US ambassador said on Thursday. before NATO, Julianne Smith. “The United States has never indicated that it was going to take any proactive steps” against Nord Stream 2, Smith said in a conversation with a media group.

The diplomat has affirmed that her country “has nothing to do with the leaks that are occurring” in the gas pipeline and called it “absurd” that someone could say otherwise. Smith thus responded to a question about the position of US President Joe Biden on the gas pipeline before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24. Biden had warned that this new gas pipeline could increase Europe’s energy dependence on Russia and, therefore, undermine its security, and in March of last year he had asked all the companies involved in its construction to abandon the project “immediately”. .

Russia, for its part, has accused the US of wanting to replace Russian fuel with its liquefied natural gas, which is more expensive than Russian. Smith has settled that Moscow is using a wide range of “hybrid attacks” and has guaranteed: “In NATO we know the manual of it, we are very familiar with it.” Specifically, he cited methods such as economic or energy coercion, misinformation or malicious influence, “tools Russia relies on to divide transatlantic partners or weaken us.”

Asked about the possibility that an ally could resort to NATO article 5 on collective defense —according to which, in the face of an attack, the rest of the allies come to its defense as one—, the ambassador referred to the “strong language” that the allies have used in a statement approved today on the “sabotage” of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.

“I want to let the statement speak for itself. It’s very clear. Any statement NATO approves has to be agreed upon by all 30 allies. I think the 30 allies got together and decided that they needed to send a message that there would be — those words were chosen quite deliberately — a united and determined response,” Smith summarized. The American diplomat has indicated that they still have to “know more about what has happened.”

“I would like to come back to this at a later time. Right now we need to better understand how this happened and who is responsible. NATO is having ongoing talks about it,” she commented. Smith has said that as soon as all the gas is out of the pipelines, countries will be able to send teams there to assess the situation.

The diplomat has pointed out that the contact group for Ukraine, with fifty countries interested in supporting kyiv to defend itself from the Russian invader, will meet again on October 12 in Brussels, coinciding with the meeting that will begin that day in the general headquarters NATO defense ministers of the allies.

The ambassador has also made it clear that the referendums organized by Russia in the occupied territories in Ukraine have “no meaning” for the allies, who will continue to provide the same support to kyiv. (Efe)