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The Daily Mirror of the Great Britain

Biden and Germany to block Nord Stream 2 if Russian ‘escalation’ with Ukraine continues

President Joe Biden, 79, has put pressure on his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, 69, to end Moscow’s “escalation” with Ukraine after Washington and Berlin announced a new agreement on Nord Stream 2 on Sunday. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, 59, said on NBC: “That pipeline … doesn’t have any gas flowing through it right now.

“And, in fact, it’s a source of leverage on Russia because to the extent President Putin wants to see gas flowing through that pipeline – if and when it becomes operational – it’s very unlikely or hard to see that happening if Russia has renewed its aggression on Ukraine, if it takes renewed action.”

Germany’s new Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, 40, told German TV station ZDF: “In the event of further escalation this gas pipeline could not come into service.”

The Alliance 90 and Green co-leader made the comments after the G7 discussed tensions with Russia.

Ms Baerbock will also meet with European colleagues to discuss the issue further on Monday.

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She also highlighted how the pipeline “cannot be authorised for the time being anyway because it does not meet the rules of European energy legislation”.

The German energy regulator ruled in November it would not certify Nord Stream 2 until the Swiss-based consortium created a company in adherence with German law.

Nord Stream 2, which runs underwater for 745miles from the Baltic coast to north east Germany, was completed in September.

But German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, 63, also shared his thoughts on Nord Stream 2 during a visit to Poland.

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He added: “It would be better not to allow the opening of Nord Stream 2.

“I drew the Chancellor’s attention to the risks linked to the opening of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and sadly the extent to which… these risks for Ukraine could get considerably worse.”